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Mortgage interest rates today for Sept. 14, 2021: Rates drop

Several mortgage rates decreased today. If you're shopping for a home loan, see how your payments might be affected.

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A few key mortgage rates sank today. Average rates for 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages both decreased, while the average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also dropped. Although mortgage rates always fluctuate, they are currently lower than they've been in years. Because of this, now could be a great time to lock in a fixed rate. Before you buy a house, remember to think about your personal needs and financial situation, and compare offers from various lenders to find the right one for you.

Compare nationwide home loan rates from various lenders

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.02%, which is a decrease of 1 basis point compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a smaller monthly payment than a 15-year one -- but usually a higher interest rate. 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 2.31%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points from the same time last week. 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're able to 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 3.03%, a decrease of 2 basis points from the same time last week. For the first five years, you'll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, since the rate changes with the market rate, you could end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an ARM might be a good option. If not, shifts in the market may 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 rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:

Today's mortgage interest rates

Loan termToday's rateLast weekChange
30-year mortgage rate3.02%3.03%-0.01
15-year fixed rate2.31%2.33%-0.02
30-year jumbo mortgage rate2.78%2.80%-0.02
30-year mortgage refinance rate 2.99%3.00%-0.01

Rates accurate as of Sept. 14, 2021.

How to find the best mortgage rates

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to consider your current finances and your goals when trying to find a mortgage. 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. Having a higher 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. 

 Beyond the mortgage interest rate, other costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also affect the cost of your house. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders -- including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks -- in order to get a loan that's the right fit for you.

How does the loan term impact my mortgage?

One important thing to consider 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. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for a certain number of years (typically five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate.

When choosing between a fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to stay in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on staying in a home for quite some time. While ARMs may offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable over time. If you aren't planning to keep your new house for more than three to 10 years, however, an ARM could give you a better deal. There is no best loan term as a general rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Make sure to do your research and understand your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.