A couple of important mortgage rates — 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed — crept higher today. We also saw an increase in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are generally the lowest they’ve been in years. For those looking to get a fixed rate, now is an excellent time to buy a home. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a house, and shop around for a lender who can best meet your needs.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.27%, which is a growth of 8 basis points compared to one week 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 fixed, 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 is a good option if you’re looking to minimize your monthly payments.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.54%, which is an increase of 4 basis points compared to a week ago. You’ll definitely have a bigger monthly payment with a 15-year fixed compared to a 30-year fixed, even if the interest rates and loan amounts are the same. However, as long as you’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include usually being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner and paying less interest overall.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 3.26%, an uptick of 8 basis points from seven days ago. 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. But since the rate shifts with the market rate, you could end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an ARM could be a good option. If not, shifts in the market could significantly increase your interest rate.
Mortgage rate trends
We use rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the US:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.74%||2.74%||N/C|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.25%||3.16%||+0.09|
Rates as of Dec. 31, 2021.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
To find a personalized mortgage rate, speak to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to consider your current financial situation and your goals when trying to find a mortgage. Specific mortgage 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 higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. Besides the mortgage rate, factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your house. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders — including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a loan that’s the best fit for you.
What is a good loan term?
One important factor to consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage 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 stable for the duration of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for a certain number of years (most frequently five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the market rate.
When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about the length of time you plan to stay in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on living in a home for a while. While adjustable-rate mortgages might have lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable over time. If you don’t plan to keep your new house for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. The best loan term all is entirely dependent on your own situation and goals, so be sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.