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There are a few reasons why people apply for a mortgage. The primary reason is to buy real estate. Refinancing a current mortgage is also done to lower the interest rate, thereby lowering the monthly payment. Some individuals refinance to get cash out for home improvements, vacations or investment opportunities. Checking current mortgage rates before requesting mortgage quotes is easy to do. The old-fashioned way would be to call your bank or contact a mortgage broker. A calculation would be done to determine the monthly payment and the length of the loan. The quote, which includes the closing costs and fees, would follow. Today, the Internet makes getting rates and quotes fast, easy and convenient.

Mortgage rates often determine if the time is right to apply for a mortgage. When the rates are low, many choose to buy a home or refinance their current mortgage. Watching for any news that rates may be falling gives a heads up that it is time to look for new rates. Checking periodically is a good idea, too. It is not difficult to do a quick search for up-to-date interest rates. If this is for a refinance, it is imperative that the rate on the current mortgage be known for comparison purposes.

The next information needed is how much the monthly payment will be and how many years the loan will be financed. There are mortgage calculators online that are very easy to use. The amount being financed is entered along with the interest rate and loan term. The monthly payment will then be calculated. It is simple to check for different scenarios. The years that the loan will be financed can be changed to get a different calculation. Some mortgage calculators will show how making extra payments will affect the loan amount and how much money will be saved.

The last step is the actual quote. Mortgage quotes are given from individual lenders. They will detail exactly how much the loan will cost and what the monthly payment will be. This may change the payment amount if the closing costs will be added to the mortgage because it increases the amount being financed. Many lenders have mortgage applications online that are secure, so there is no worry about sending personal and financial information over the Internet. There are also free services that will send the application to several lenders and all of them will give quotes. Expect some phone calls. Some lenders prefer a personal touch and follow up by phone. There is no reason to delay checking mortgage rates or requesting mortgage quotes. The Internet makes it possible to get this information 24 hours a day.