Some important mortgage rates rose today, including 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates. We also saw an increase in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. If you plan to buy a house, now might be a good time to lock in a fixed rate since they are still at historic lows. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a home, and shop around for a lender who can best meet your needs.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.24%, which is a growth of 4 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 mortgage will often have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. 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 2.51%, which is an increase of 1 basis point from seven days ago. You’ll definitely have a bigger monthly payment with a 15-year fixed mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, even if the interest rate and loan amount are the same. However, as long as 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 ARM has an average rate of 3.24%, an addition of 5 basis points compared to a week ago. With an ARM mortgage, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, changes in the market could cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage may make sense for you. But if that’s not the case, you might be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates shift.
Mortgage rate trends
We use data 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||3.24%||3.20%||+0.04|
|15-year fixed rate||2.51%||2.50%||+0.01|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.74%||2.74%||N/C|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.22%||3.16%||+0.06|
Updated on Dec. 28, 2021.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can connect with a local mortgage broker or search online. In order to find the best home mortgage, you’ll need to take into account your goals and current finances. 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. The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home — be sure to also consider other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders — for example, credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a loan that’s right for you.
What is a good loan term?
One important consideration when choosing a mortgage is 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. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for the life of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only stable for a certain amount of time (usually five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider how long you plan to stay in your house. For those who plan on staying 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 might offer lower interest rates upfront. If you aren’t planning 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 all depends on an individual’s situation and goals, so make sure to think about what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.