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Mortgage interest rates are still falling. Here’s what buyers need to know

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A few key mortgage rates have trended downward today, including the 15 and 30 year fixed mortgage rates. We have also observed a contraction in the average rate for mortgage loans at a 5/1 revisable rate. While mortgage rates are constantly changing, they are lower than they have been in years. Right now is a great time for potential home buyers to get a fixed rate. But as always, be sure to consider your personal goals and circumstances first before buying a home, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

30-year fixed rate mortgages

The 30-year average fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.14%, down 5 basis points from seven days ago. (One basis point equals 0.01%.) The most commonly used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30 year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15 year mortgage, but usually a higher interest rate. While you will pay more interest over time – you pay off your loan over a longer period – 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-rate mortgage is 2.44%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points from the same period last week. Compared to a 30 year fixed mortgage, a 15 year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and the same interest rate will have a higher monthly payment. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, a 15-year loan has several advantages. You will usually get a lower interest rate and pay less interest overall because you pay off your mortgage much faster.

5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

A 5/1 variable rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.13%, down 5 basis points from last week. You will typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with an ARM 5/1 during the first five years of the mortgage. However, you could end up paying more after this period, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. If you plan to sell or refinance your home before rates change, an ARM might be right for you. But if it doesn’t, you might have to pay a much higher interest rate if market rates change.

Mortgage rate trends

We use information 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 in the United States:

Current average mortgage interest rates

Type of loan Interest rate A week ago Switch
30-year fixed rate 3.14% 3.19% -0.05
15-year fixed rate 2.44% 2.46% -0.02
Giant 30-year mortgage rate 2.76% 2.80% -0.04
30-year mortgage refinancing rate 3.13% 3.16% -0.03

Updated November 9, 2021.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

When you’re ready to apply for a loan, you can connect with a local mortgage broker or search online. Be sure to take your current financial situation and goals into account when trying to find a mortgage. Things that affect the mortgage interest rate you might get include: your credit rating, down payment, loan-to-value ratio, and debt-to-income ratio. Having a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of these factors can help you get a lower interest rate. Besides the mortgage interest rate, factors such as closing costs, fees, points of rebate, and taxes can also affect the cost of your home. Be sure to talk to multiple lenders, such as local and state banks, credit unions, and online lenders, and do a comparator to find the best mortgage for you.

How does the term of the loan affect my mortgage?

One important thing that you should consider when choosing a mortgage loan is the length of the loan or the payment schedule. The most commonly offered mortgage terms 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 variable rate mortgages. The interest rates for a fixed rate mortgage are the same throughout the life of the loan. Unlike a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rates on a variable rate mortgage are only fixed for a certain period of time (usually five, seven, or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market interest rate.

One thing you need to think about when choosing between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage is how long you plan to stay in your home. For people who are planning to live long term in a new home, fixed rate mortgages may be the best option. While variable rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates initially, fixed rate mortgages are more stable over the long term. If you don’t plan on keeping your new home for more than three to ten years, an adjustable rate mortgage may give you a better deal. The best loan term depends entirely on your personal circumstances and goals, so be sure to think about what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.