Dec. 17, 2021: Mortgage refinance rates follow downward trend


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Numerous important refinance rates dropped today, including 10-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances. In addition, the average rate on 10-year fixed refinance also trailed off. Refinance interest rates are never set in stone — but rates have been the lowest they’ve been in years. Before getting a refinance, remember to consider your personal needs and financial situation, and speak with various lenders to find the best one for you.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

For 30-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 3.21%, a decrease of 3 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) A 30-year fixed refinance will typically have lower monthly payments than a 15-year or 10-year refinance. This makes 30-year refinances good for people who are having difficulties making their monthly payments or simply want a bit more breathing room. Be aware, though, that interest rates will typically be higher compared to a 15-year or 10-year refinance, and you’ll pay off your loan at a slower rate.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The average 15-year fixed refinance rate right now is 2.49%, a decrease of 2 basis points from what we saw the previous week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. However, you’ll also be able to pay off your loan quicker, saving you money over the life of the loan. You’ll also typically get lower interest rates compared to a 30-year loan. This can help you save even more in the long run.

10-year fixed-rate refinance

The average 10-year fixed refinance rate right now is 2.49%, a decrease of 1 basis points compared to one week ago. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much faster and save on interest in the long run. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to make sure you’ll be able to afford the higher monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

We track refinance rate trends using information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders nationwide:

Average refinance interest rates

ProductRateA week agoChange
30-year fixed refi3.21%3.24%-0.03
15-year fixed refi2.49%2.51%-0.02
10-year fixed refi2.49%2.50%-0.01

Rates as of Dec. 17, 2021.

How to find personalized refinance rates

When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.

Generally, you’ll want a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of making consistent and on-time payments in order to get the best interest rates. Researching interest rates online is always a good idea, but you’ll need to connect with a mortgage professional to get your exact refinance rate. Also remember to account for potential fees and closing costs.

You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. If you have a low credit score or a poor credit history, you might have trouble getting a refinance at the lowest interest rates.

Before applying for a refinance, you should make your application as strong as possible in order to get the best rates available. If you haven’t already, try to improve your credit by monitoring your credit reports, using credit responsibly, and managing your finances carefully. Don’t forget to speak with multiple lenders and shop around to find the best rate.

Is now a good time to refinance?

In order for a refinance to make sense, you’ll generally want to get a lower interest rate than your current rate. Aside from interest rates, changing your loan term is another reason to refinance. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.

A refinance may not always make financial sense. Consider your personal goals and financial circumstances. How long do you plan on staying in your home? Are you refinancing to decrease your monthly payment, pay off your house sooner — or for a combination of reasons? And don’t forget about fees and closing costs, which can add up.

Some lenders have tightened their requirements in recent months, so you may not be able to get a refinance at the posted interest rates — or even a refinance at all — if you don’t meet their standards. If you can get a lower interest rate or pay off your loan sooner, refinancing can be a great move. But carefully weigh the pros and cons first to make sure it’s a good fit for your situation.



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