When it comes to buying a home, having a mortgage rate that benefits you financially can be a total godsend—for many years following your acquisition. Here are a few ways to determine if you’re getting the best mortgage rate available.

  1. Don’t just accept and settle for the 30-year fixed rate. While this is the standard loan package, it isn’t the only option. You’ll actually save money by doing a 15-year mortgage.
  2. Boost your credit score if possible. This will help you, not only with your mortgage rate, but any type of loans you try to take out.
  3. Shop around.
  4. Pay as high of a down payment as possible. Most lenders accept at least 20 percent, and anything lower may give you a higher mortgage rate.
  5. Paying points may benefit you, especially if you plan to live in your home for a long time.

Image via U.S. News & World Report.