Why compare mortgage rates? Because even 1 point difference in a mortgage rate can cost you thousands over the life of the mortgage loan! Rates and fees are determined by the lender, based on current market conditions, loan programs and your credit risk. Consider finding out your Fico score before you rate shop. If you're a good credit risk, you should be getting the best rates available. It's worth paying attention to the rate you're offered because the difference in dollars spent over 30 years is significant.