Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their average rates go higher Tuesday. The average rates for 10-year fixed refinances also increased.
Like mortgage rates, refinance rates fluctuate on a daily basis. With , the Federal Reserve has hiked the federal funds rate four times this year and is poised to do so again in 2022 to try to slow rampant inflation. Though mortgage rates are not set by the central bank, these federal rate hikes increase the cost of borrowing money. Whether refinance rates will continue to rise or fall will depend on what happens next with inflation. If inflation begins to cool, rates will likely follow suit. But if inflation remains high, we could see refinance rates maintain an upward trajectory.
If rates for a refi are currently lower than your existing mortgage rate, you could save money by locking in a rate now. As always, consider your goals and circumstances, and compare rates and fees to find a mortgage lender who can meet your needs.
30-year fixed-rate refinance
For 30-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 6.32%, an increase of 21 basis points from what we saw 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. If you're having difficulties making your monthly payments currently, a 30-year refinance could be a good option for you. However, interest rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than rates for a 10- or 15-year refinance. It'll also take you longer to pay off your loan.
15-year fixed-rate refinance
For 15-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 5.63%, an increase of 22 basis points over last week. A 15-year fixed refinance will most likely raise your monthly payment compared to 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
For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 5.77%, an increase of 31 basis points over last week. Compared to a 15- or 30-year refinance, a 10-year refinance will usually have a lower interest rate but higher monthly payment. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. Just be sure to carefully consider your budget and current financial situation to make sure that you can afford a higher monthly payment.
Where rates are headed
At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates dropped to historic lows, but they have been mostly climbing since the beginning of this year. Refinance rates rose due to inflation, which is at its highest level in four decades, as well as actions taken by the Federal Reserve. The Fed recently raised interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points and is prepared to raise rates again this year to slow the economy. Still, it's unclear exactly what will happen next in the market. If inflation continues to rise, rates are likely to climb. But if inflation starts to cool, rates could level off and begin to decline.
We track refinance rate trends using data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET's parent company. Here's a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the country:
Average refinance interest rates
|30-year fixed refi||6.32%||6.11%||+0.21|
|15-year fixed refi||5.63%||5.41%||+0.22|
|10-year fixed refi||5.77%||5.46%||+0.31|
Rates as of Sept. 20, 2022.
How to shop for refinance rates
It's important to understand that the rates advertised online may not apply to you. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.
Having a high credit score, a low credit utilization ratio and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. To get the best refinance rates, you'll first want to make your application as strong as possible. The best way to improve your credit ratings is to get your finances in order, use credit responsibly and monitor your credit regularly. Don't forget to speak with multiple lenders and shop around.
Refinancing can be a great move if you get a good rate or can pay off your loan sooner -- but consider carefully whether it's the right choice for you at the moment.
When should I refinance?
Most people refinance because the market interest rates are lower than their current rates or because they want to change their loan term. When deciding whether to refinance, be sure to take into account other factors besides market interest rates, including how long you plan to stay in your current home, the length of your loan term and the amount of your monthly payment. And don't forget about fees and closing costs, which can add up.
As interest rates have steadily increased since the beginning of the year, the pool of people eligible for refinancing has shrunk significantly. If you bought your house when interest rates were lower than current rates, you may likely not gain any financial benefit from refinancing your mortgage.