The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a website designed to assist those consumers considering buying a home. The site is especially useful for consumers who are new to home buying.
The website includes mortgage interest rate data “from actual lenders” throughout the country (organized by state). The data, according to the CFPB, are “updated every day.” The agency also discusses how to shop around and negotiate for mortgage deals.
Particularly interesting offerings at the website include two calculators. One demonstrates generally the impact that a credit score has on loan rate options and the other allows you to compare two interest rates to see the difference in interest paid over five years and over 30 years, using the rates entered.
Of course, a loan’s interest rate is only one factor for consumers to consider when looking for a mortgage. The CFPB also discusses at the website other factors such as the type of loan, impact of the down payment, and cost of points and fees, all designed to make consumers more educated mortgage shoppers.
A “checklist” of things consumers will likely face at closing is provided, as is a “closing forms explainer” to help someone new to the process understand the forms that will be presented at closing.
The CFPB’s “Owning a Home” website is available at www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home.
Opinions are solely the writer's. Joseph Pellicciotti is a lawyer, professor and vice chancellor at Indiana University Northwest.