If you are thinking about buying a new home you are probably hoping to get the best value for your money on a house, but what about your home loan? The rate and terms of your mortgage can have a big impact on your wallet. This is why it is so important to shop for just the right home loan. There are two main factors to consider when shopping for a loan: the type of loan and the terms of the loan.

Do your homework before looking at home loans. Even one half of a percentage point makes a big difference over the full term of the loan. A 30 year loan of $200,000 at a 5% fixed-rate, will cost you about $22,000 more in interest than if the interest rate was set at 4.5%.

Other things to look at when shopping for a home loan are closing costs. Mortgage companies charge additional fees such as origination fees, title charges, appraisals and even credit checks. Make sure to consider these additional expenses when shopping for a home loan.

You can also save money by not maxing out your budget. Just because you are pre-qualified for a loan doesn’t mean you should spend the maximum loan amount on a home. Don’t allow your total house payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) to exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.

These days keeping track of your money can be a hassle. Between all the different ways you can spend your money it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Luckily there are some great apps for money management. Below are a few favorites— all rated with 3.5 stars and up.

LearnVest: LearnVest is a money management platform, but it’s also much more. You can link up your various accounts to keep track of your spending, savings and goals (that you set). But the best part about this app are the articles you receive via email from them. The articles that they send are full of helpful information related to early retirement, saving for your wedding, how to pay down debt, rebuilding bad credit, smart saving, and so much more. Every article is worth the read. This app is available on iOS.

Mint: Mint is a well-known money management platform. You can hook up your bank accounts, credit cards, 401k and loans and set up budgets. The app utilizes graphs to show you how you spend your money and provides you with bill reminders. It will even give you your net worth. The only downfall to the app is that it has a difficult time connecting to small banks’ online banking systems. This app is available on iOS and Google Play.

Daily Budget: This is a do-it-yourself app. If you are one that is weary about putting your personal banking information onto your phone then this is the money management app for you. You plug in your income, reoccurring expenses and it gives you a daily budget. You can add in additional income and expenses as they occur. But, you will have to pay for the full version if you want to utilize all income and expense categories. This app is available on iOS. Comparable apps are available on Google Play.

Prosper Daily: This app’s main emphasis is on protecting your accounts. You can link up your bank accounts and credit cards and approve or deny charges as they occur. But, it is also good for a high level review of your accounts. You are able to view your balances on your credit cards and checking account all in one place. Another pro of this app is that you are able to categorize your charges making it easy to keep track of what you are spending your money on. One of the great new features now available is the ability to view your credit score. And beyond that it provides insight into why your score is the way it is and how to improve it. This app is available on iOS and Google Play.

These apps will aid you in getting in front of your spending and back in control of where your money is going. Be sure to take full advantage of the offerings that each app has, as it will only benefit you in the long run.

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