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Today's mortgage rates fall from last week. Here's what to know

Nov. 24, 2021: With major mortgage rates decreasing, let's see how that could affect your payments.

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A variety of notable mortgage rates trailed off today, including the average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages. Average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also dropped. Although mortgage rates fluctuate, they are lower than they've been in years. Because of this, right now is a good time for prospective homebuyers to secure a fixed rate. Before you buy a house, remember to take into account your personal needs and financial situation, and shop around for various lenders to find the best one for you.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.14%, which is a decrease of 5 basis points as seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed mortgage will typically 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 2.44%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points from the same time last week. 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 can afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. 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 3.13%, a slide 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 shifts in the market may cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good option. But if that's not the case, you could be on the hook for a much higher interest rate if the market rates shift.

Mortgage rate trends

We use rates 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:

Today's mortgage interest rates

Loan termToday's RateLast weekChange
30-year mortgage rate3.14%3.19%-0.05
15-year fixed rate2.44%2.46%-0.02
30-year jumbo mortgage rate2.76%2.80%-0.04
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.13%3.16%-0.03

Rates accurate as of Nov. 24, 2021.

How to find personalized mortgage rates

To find a personalized mortgage rate, speak to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to consider your current finances and your goals when trying to find a mortgage. Things that affect what mortgage rate you might get include: your credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income 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. You should comparison shop with multiple lenders -- like credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks -- in order to get a mortgage that's best for you.

What's the best loan term?

One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same 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 changes annually based on the market rate.

One thing to take into consideration when choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on staying in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for people who plan on living in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don't plan to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. The best loan term is entirely dependent on an individual's situation and goals, so be sure to consider what's important to you when choosing a mortgage.