The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday unveiled a new website to help consumers shop for a mortgage.
The site is primarily geared toward first-time homebuyers, but seasoned consumers who’ve previously bought a home or three can benefit from the site’s Rate Checker section that helps people find the most inexpensive home loan from large banks, regional banks and credit unions that account for 80 percent of the mortgage market.
Rate Checker updates interest rates, down payment requirements and other mortgage guidelines daily from the lenders. In addition, the feature lets homebuyers see what would happen if they qualified for a lower interest rate by improving their credit score or saving for a bigger down payment.
The CFPB notes that a borrower who takes out a 30-year fixed-rate loan for $350,000 and gets an interest rate of 3.75 percent versus 4.25 percent can save approximately $100 a month.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray said the agency’s year-old mortgage rules have helped restore reliability to the home-loan market. He noted home values have been improving and the volume of homes that are underwater––with more owed on the mortgage than the home is worth––is on a downward trajectory.