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Today's Mortgage Rates for Sept. 21, 2022: Rates Trend Higher

Today a handful of notable mortgage rates crept higher. See how the Fed's interest rate hikes could affect your mortgage payments.

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Mark Elias/Getty

A variety of important mortgage rates moved up today. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages both made gains. At the same time, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also increased.

Though mortgage rates have been rather consistently going up since the start of this year, what happens next depends on whether inflation continues to climb or begins to retreat. Interest rates are dynamic and unpredictable -- at least on a daily or weekly basis -- and they respond to a wide variety of economic factors. Right now, they're particularly sensitive to inflation and the prospect of a US recession. With so much uncertainty in the market, if you're looking to buy a home, trying to time the market may not play to your favor. If inflation rises and rates climb, this could translate to higher interest rates and steeper monthly mortgage payments. For this reason, you may have better luck locking in a lower mortgage interest rate sooner rather than later. No matter when you decide to shop for a home, it's always a good idea to seek out multiple lenders to compare rates and fees to find the best mortgage for your specific situation.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 6.38%, which is an increase of 14 basis points 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 typically have a greater 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 5.69%, which is an increase of 16 basis points from seven days ago. 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. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you're able to afford the monthly payments. 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 4.83%, a rise of 25 basis points from the same time last week. You'll usually get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. However, you may end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage might make sense for you. But if that's not the case, you may be on the hook for a much higher interest rate if the market rates change.

Mortgage rate trends

Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been increasing somewhat steadily since then. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of four times this year, but inflation still remains high. As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.

Though the Fed does not directly set mortgage rates, the central bank's policy actions influence how much you pay to finance your home loan. If you're looking to buy a house in 2022, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates, and mortgage rates could increase as the year goes on. Whether rates follow their upward projection or begin to level out hinges on if inflation actually slows.

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:

Today's mortgage interest rates

Loan termToday's RateLast weekChange
30-year mortgage rate6.38%6.24%+0.14
15-year fixed rate5.69%5.53%+0.16
30-year jumbo mortgage rate6.36%6.24%+0.12
30-year mortgage refinance rate 6.36%6.23%+0.13

Rates accurate as of Sept. 21, 2022.

How to find personalized mortgage rates

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 searching for a mortgage. Things that affect what mortgage interest rate you might get include: your credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income ratio. Generally, you want a good credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. Aside from the mortgage interest rate, other costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your home. Be sure to talk to a variety of lenders -- like local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best mortgage loan for you.

What is a good loan term?

When picking a mortgage, it's important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The loan terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. 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 the same for a certain amount of time (usually five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market rate.

When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about the length of time you plan to stay in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for people who plan on staying in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time compared 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're only planning to keep your house for a few years. There is no best loan term as a rule of thumb; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Be sure to do your research and think about your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.