8 smart moves to score the best possible mortgage

Ask the sellers to pay points on your home loan

One way to lower the cost of your home loan at no cost to yourself is to ask the sellers to pay the points on your mortgage.

You get a lower monthly payment and need less income to qualify for the mortgage.

Paying your points can also cost sellers less than reducing the price of their home.

Say you want to buy a $375,000 home with 20% down. A $300,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4% means a monthly payment of $1,432.

A 5% sales price reduction costs the seller $18,750. The loan amount drops to $285,000, which decreases your monthly payment to $1,361. You'll save save $71 each month on your payment.

Paying three discount points on your mortgage costs the seller only $12,000. Your loan amount is still $300,000, but your rate could drop to 3.25%. Now your monthly payment is $1,306, a savings of $126 from the original deal.

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