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Mortgage rates on March 30, 2021: Rates tick down

Today a couple of important mortgage rates moved down. Here's what that means for you if you're in the market for a home loan.

- 04:31
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Some closely followed mortgage rates dwindled today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both slid downward. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also declined. Although mortgage rates are always moving, they are at a historic low. Because of this, right now is a good time for prospective homebuyers to get a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a home, and talk to multiple lenders to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Check out mortgage rates that meet your distinct needs

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.25%, which is a decline of 9 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) 30-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage -- but also a lower monthly payment. 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 2.50%, which is a decrease 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 higher monthly payment. However, as long as you're able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. You'll most likely 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 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.26%, a fall of 11 basis points compared to a week ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But since the rate shifts with the market rate, you might 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 might significantly increase your interest rate.

Mortgage rate trends

We use data 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 nationwide.

Current average mortgage interest rates:

Loan typeInterest rateA week agoChange
30-year fixed rate3.25%3.34%-0.09
15-year fixed rate2.50%2.54%-0.04
30-year jumbo mortgage rate3.08%3.10%-0.02
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.32%3.41%-0.09

Updated on March 30, 2021.

How to find personalized mortgage rates

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. In order to find the best home mortgage, you'll need to consider your goals and current finances. Specific mortgage rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. Aside from the mortgage interest rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your house. Make sure to comparison shop with multiple lenders -- including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks -- in order to get a loan that's best for you.

What's the best loan term?

One important thing to consider when choosing a mortgage is 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. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for the life of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only set for a certain amount of time (typically five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market rate. 

One factor to think about when choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on living in your home. If you plan on living long-term in your new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. If you aren't planning to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, though, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. The "best" loan term all is entirely dependent on your personal situation and goals, so make sure to think about what's important to you when choosing a mortgage.