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Today's mortgage rates for Sept. 15, 2021: Rates decreased

Today some notable mortgage rates moved down. If you haven't locked yet, see how your future home loan payments could be affected.

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A number of important mortgage rates fell today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both dropped off. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also slid lower. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are the lowest they've been in years. If you plan to finance a house, now might be a good time to get a fixed rate. Before you buy a house, remember to consider your personal needs and financial situation, and shop around for various lenders to find the best one for you.

Find current mortgage rates for today

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.02%, which is a decrease of 1 basis point from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used 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 2.31%, which is a decrease of 2 basis points compared to a week 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, if you're able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. You'll typically 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 3.03%, a fall of 2 basis points from seven days ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you'll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, 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. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an ARM could make sense for you. If not, changes in the market could 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 nationwide:

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 rate2.79%2.80%-0.01
30-year mortgage refinance rate 2.99%3.00%-0.01

Rates accurate as of Sept. 15, 2021.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can connect with a local mortgage broker or search online. Make sure to think about 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 your mortgage rate. 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. Besides the interest rate, other costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your house. Be sure to 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 right 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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate.

When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about how long you plan to stay in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on living in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront. However you may get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your house for a few years. There is no best loan term as a general rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Be sure to do your research and think about what's most important to you when choosing a mortgage.