Jan. 19, 2022: Mortgage interest rates are climbing. Can you still lock in a good rate?


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Key mortgage rates, including 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages, are continuing to climb to the highest levels since before the pandemic. The average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages has also gone up. With mortgage rates at historic lows over the last period, it’s been a fine time for prospective homebuyers to lock in a fixed rate. However, rates fluctuate and are projected to keep going up. Before you buy a house, consider your personal needs and financial situation, and remember to speak with multiple lenders to find the best one for you.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 3.58%, which is a growth of 6 basis points as seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but typically a higher interest rate. 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 2.92%, which is an increase of 8 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 bigger monthly payment. However, as long as you’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. You’ll most likely 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 ARM has an average rate of 3.59%, an addition of 5 basis points compared to a week ago. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, you might end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an ARM may be a good option. If not, shifts in the market may significantly increase your interest rate.

Mortgage rate trends

While 2022 kicked off with low mortgage rates, they have seen an uptick recently. There are two major factors at play here: increasing inflation rates and a growing economy. That said, rates can always rise and fall for a variety of reasons. The spread of omicron, for instance, kept rates relatively low throughout December and the start of the new year. Overall, rates are expected to go up in 2022, particularly with the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce its bond purchases. 

We use information 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 3.58% 3.52% +0.06
15-year fixed rate 2.92% 2.84% +0.08
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 2.77% 2.73% +0.04
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.57% 3.54% +0.03

Updated on Jan. 19, 2022.

How to find the best mortgage rates

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. When looking into home mortgage rates, take into account your goals and current financial situation. Specific interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a good credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home — be sure to also consider additional factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure you speak with several different lenders — like local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison shop to find the best loan for you.

What is a good loan term?

When picking a mortgage, it’s important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common mortgage 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 fixed for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only set for a certain amount of time (typically five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market interest rate.

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to live in your home. For people who plan on living long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don’t plan to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, though, 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. Make sure to do your research and know your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.

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