Some important mortgage rates sank today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both dropped off. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also receded. Although mortgage rates fluctuate, they are quite low right now. If you plan to finance a house, now might be an optimal time to lock in a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first take into account your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a house, and shop around for a lender who can best meet your needs.
Compare national mortgage rates from various lenders
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.02%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a smaller monthly payment than a 15-year one — but often a higher interest rate. You won’t be able to pay off your house as quickly and you’ll pay more interest over time, but a 30-year fixed mortgage is a good option if you’re looking to minimize your monthly payment.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.31%, which is a decrease of 1 basis point from seven days ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a bigger monthly payment. However, if you’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate, and you’ll pay less interest in total because you’re paying off your mortgage much quicker.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.03%, a decrease of 2 basis points compared to 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, you may end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate adjusts with the market rate. Because of this, an ARM might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. Otherwise, changes in the market means your interest rate could be much higher once the rate adjusts.
Mortgage rate trends
We use rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Current average mortgage interest rates
|Loan type||Interest rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed rate||3.02%||3.04%||-0.02|
|15-year fixed rate||2.31%||2.32%||-0.01|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.79%||2.80%||-0.01|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||2.99%||3.01%||-0.02|
Updated on Sept. 16, 2021.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
To find a personalized mortgage rate, meet with your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to consider your current financial situation 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 higher credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. Apart from the mortgage interest rate, other factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your home. You should shop around with multiple lenders — such as credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage loan that’s right for you.
What’s the best loan term?
One important thing you should consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are stable for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (typically five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should take into consideration how long you plan to live in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on staying in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don’t plan to keep your new house for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage might give you a better deal. The best loan term is entirely dependent on your own situation and goals, so be sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.