Mortgages

Mortgage Refinance Rates for May 12, 2022: Rates Move Up

Several benchmark refinance rates floated higher today.

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Several benchmark mortgage refinance rates moved higher today. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their average rates trend upward. At the same time, average rates for 10-year fixed refinances slumped.

Though refinance rates do fluctuate slightly on a daily basis, homeowners can expect to see rates rise over the course of this year. In recent months, rates have been trending up from historic lows seen during the pandemic, and are now closer to 2018 rate levels. That means if you're looking to shave dollars and interest off your current monthly mortgage payments, these could be the lowest rates of 2022. Make sure to think about your goals and circumstances, and compare offers to find a lender who can meet your needs.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

The average 30-year fixed refinance rate right now is 5.53%, an increase of 8 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Refinancing to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term can lower your monthly payments. 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 15-year or 10-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 4.83%, an increase of 8 basis points over last week. Refinancing to a 15-year fixed loan from a 30-year fixed loan will likely raise your monthly payment. On the other hand, you'll save money on interest, since you'll pay off the loan sooner. 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

The average rate for a 10-year fixed refinance loan is currently 4.79%, a decrease of 2 basis points over last week. Compared to a 30-year and 15-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 faster and save on interest in the long run. But you should confirm that you can afford a higher monthly payment by evaluating your budget and overall financial situation.

Where rates are headed

At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates dropped to historic lows, but now interest rates are hovering around pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Reserve recently raised rates for the first time since 2018 and plans to increase them multiple times in 2022. Given this policy, along with strong economic growth and inflation, which reached its highest in four decades, rates are expected to keep going up this year. While there have been some temporary dips in interest rates, it's impossible to predict when another drop might occur. That means it's a good idea to try to take advantage of refinancing now and lock in a decent rate.

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 nationwide:

Average refinance interest rates

ProductRateLast weekChange
30-year fixed refi5.53%5.45%+0.08
15-year fixed refi4.83%4.75%+0.08
10-year fixed refi4.79%4.81%-0.02

Rates as of May 12, 2022.

How to find personalized refinance rates

When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.

Having a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. Researching interest rates online is always a good idea, but you'll need to connect with a mortgage professional to get your exact refinance rate. Also remember to account for potential fees and closing costs.

It's also worth noting that in recent months, lenders have been stricter with their requirements. This means that if you don't have great credit ratings, you might not be able to take advantage of lowered interest rates -- or qualify for a refinance in the first place.

To get the best refinance rates, you'll first want to make your application as strong as possible. You can do that by monitoring your credit, taking on debt responsibly, and getting your finances in order before applying for a refinance. You should also shop around with multiple lenders and compare offers to make sure you're getting the best rate.

When to consider a mortgage refinance

In order for a refinance to make sense, you'll generally want to get a lower interest rate than your current rate. Aside from interest rates, changing your loan term is another reason to refinance. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.

To decide whether a refinance is right for you, consider all of the factors including how long you plan to stay in your current home, the length of your loan term and the amount of your monthly payment. Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.

Note that some lenders have tightened their requirements since the beginning of the pandemic. If you don't have a solid credit score, you may not qualify for the best rate. If you can get a lower interest rate or pay off your loan sooner, refinancing can be a great move. But carefully weigh the pros and cons first to make sure it's a good fit for your situation.