Survey finds prospective homeowners lack knowledge about mortgages

Many homebuyers may be jumping into a housing agreement without sufficient information of how the process works, according to a recent Zillow Mortgage Marketplace survey.

The lending marketplace company found 44 percent of respondents do not feel confident in their knowledge of mortgages.

Some prospective homeowners may be missing out on facts that could save them money when applying for a loan. For example, 55 percent of respondents said they did not know mortgage rates vary during the day, which means a consumer may agree to a rate in the morning that is not as cost effective as one that is released later in the day. For this reason, the company advises individuals to track and compare rates for a period of time before signing their name on the dotted line.

Mortgage rates are typically dependent on applicants' credit scores; the better their three-digit number, the better the rate they may receive. With this in mind, many consumers may be able to improve their credit by checking their credit report for any questionable or problematic items that may be unfairly damaging their score.

Prospective homeowners who look over their credit files and find marks that weren't reported fairly and accurately may be able to investigate or dispute the negative items. Taking steps to repair credit may be the credit solution they need to qualify for a more affordable mortgage rate.