A handful of important mortgage rates moved down today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both trended lower. We also saw a decrease in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. Although mortgage rates are always changing, they are at a historic low. If you plan to finance a home, now might be an ideal time to lock in a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a house, and compare offers to find a lender who can best meet your needs.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.14%, which is a decline of 5 basis points as seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a smaller monthly payment than a 15-year one -- but often a higher interest rate. 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 2.44%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points compared to a week 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, if you can afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include typically being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.13%, a downtick of 5 basis points from seven days ago. 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 you might end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage might make sense for you. But if that's not the case, you might be on the hook for a much higher interest rate if the market rates change.
Mortgage rate trends
We use information 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 across the country:
Current average mortgage interest rates
|Loan type||Interest rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed rate||3.14%||3.19%||-0.05|
|15-year fixed rate||2.44%||2.46%||-0.02|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.76%||2.80%||-0.04|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.13%||3.16%||-0.03|
Updated on Nov. 25, 2021.
How to find the best mortgage rates
To find a personalized mortgage rate, meet with your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to take into account your current finances and your goals when looking for a mortgage. Specific mortgage rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a good credit score, a higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you 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 you talk to a variety of lenders -- including local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best loan for you.
What's the best loan term?
When picking a mortgage, remember 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 set 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 (most frequently five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to think about when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on staying in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on living in a home for a while. While adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. If you aren't planning to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage may give you a better deal. The best loan term is entirely dependent on your own situation and goals, so make sure to think about what's important to you when choosing a mortgage.