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DIFS Shares Mortgage Guidance with Consumers
March 30, 2023
Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, DIFSfirstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2023
(LANSING, MICH) As interest rates continue to rise, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is offering important guidance to consumers considering a mortgage in the near future.
“Getting a mortgage, even during times of low interest rates, is a significant financial commitment that should not be entered into without first understanding the terms and conditions,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Many consumers focus on the loan option with the lowest monthly payment, but this may end up costing you more over the lifetime of the loan. It is important that Michiganders are informed about mortgage types and risks so they can make the best choice for their financial future.”
There are many different types of mortgage loans, each of which has risks and benefits depending on your financial situation. Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages have multiple options for borrowers, but it is important to know which mortgage type is right for you. A fixed-rate mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that remains the same over the lifetime of the loan. An adjustable-rate or variable rate mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that changes over the lifetime of the loan.
If you are thinking about getting a mortgage to purchase a home but are not sure which type is right for you, consider these questions:
- Is my income enough to cover higher monthly payments if interest rates go up?
Tip: Don’t just ask for the lowest monthly payment without understanding the terms of the loan and whether it’s possible for your monthly payments to increase.
- How much of a down payment can I afford to make?
- Will I be taking on other sizeable debts, such as a loan for a car or school tuition, in the near future?
- How long do I plan to own this home?
Tip: Changing interest rates could significantly impact the amount you owe over the lifetime of your loan depending on the type of mortgage you choose.
- Do I plan to refinance the loan at any time? When?
- Do I plan to make any additional payments or pay the loan off early?
Tip: Some adjustable-rate mortgages have a prepayment penalty.
- Am I a military veteran, on active military duty, or a surviving spouse of someone in the armed forces who may be eligible for a VA backed loan?
Michiganders considering applying for a mortgage can find this information and more in a newly published resource, Mortgages: Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate. Consumers who have questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with their financial institutions can contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or file a complaint online at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.