A few major mortgage rates inched up today. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages both drifted higher. We also saw an upswing in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. Although mortgage rates are dynamic, they're lower than they've been in years. Because of this, right now is an ideal time for prospective homebuyers to get a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before buying a house, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.
Compare nationwide mortgage rates from various lenders
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.27%, which is an increase of 4 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will usually have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage -- but also a lower monthly payment. 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 2.51%, which is an increase of 4 basis points from seven days ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a larger monthly payment. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you're able to afford the monthly payments. 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 3.29%, an addition of 4 basis points from the same time last week. For the first five years, you'll usually get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed 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. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage could make sense for you. If not, changes 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 rates changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the US:Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||3.08%||3.14%||-0.06|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.34%||3.31%||+0.03|
Rates as of April 1, 2021.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. When researching home mortgage rates, consider your goals and current financial situation. A range of factors -- including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio -- will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a higher down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. Besides the mortgage rate, other costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your house. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders -- like credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks -- in order to get a loan that's right for you.
What's the best loan term?
When picking a mortgage, it's important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. Another important distinction is between 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 fixed for a certain amount of time (usually 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 think about how long you plan to live in your home. If you plan on staying long-term in your new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. However you may get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only plan to keep your house for a few years. There's no "best" loan term as an overarching rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It's important to do your research and think about what you want when choosing a mortgage.