Current mortgage interest rates on March 29, 2021: Rates ease – CNET

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A variety of key mortgage rates receded today. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages had a downswing. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also declined. Although mortgage rates fluctuate, they’re lower than they’ve been in years. If you’re looking to lock in a fixed rate, now is a great time to finance a house. But as always, make sure to first take into account your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a home, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Check out mortgage rates that meet your distinct needs

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.22%, which is a decrease of 10 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will typically have a greater interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. Although you’ll pay more interest over time — you’re paying off your loan over a longer timeframe — if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.47%, which is a decrease of 5 basis points compared to a week ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a larger monthly payment. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include typically being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.22%, a fall of 13 basis points from the same time last week. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. However, since the rate adjusts with the market rate, you may end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. But if that’s not the case, you may be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates change.

Mortgage rate trends

We use data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rates changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:

Average mortgage interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed 3.22% 3.32% -0.10
15-year fixed 2.47% 2.52% -0.05
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.11% 3.12% -0.01
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.30% 3.40% -0.10

Rates as of March 29, 2021.

How to find the best mortgage rates

To find a personalized mortgage rate, meet with your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to consider your current finances and your goals when searching for a mortgage. Specific mortgage rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Generally, you want a good credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. Aside from the mortgage rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also affect the cost of your home. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders — like credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage that’s best for you.

What is a good loan term?

When picking a mortgage, you should consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The loan terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are set for the duration of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate. 

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should take into consideration the length of time you plan to live in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on staying in your new home for a while. They offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront. If you aren’t planning to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, but an adjustable-rate mortgage might give you a better deal. There is no “best” loan term as a general rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It’s important to do your research and know what you want when choosing a mortgage.

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