Mortgage rates for Aug. 17, 2021: Benchmark rate rises – CNET

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Mortgage rates were varied today, but a major rate climbed higher. Average rates for 15-year fixed mortgages decreased, while 30-year fixed mortgages saw an increase. The average rates for the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage stayed the same. Although mortgage rates always fluctuate, they’re currently lower than they’ve been in years. Because of this, now might be a good time to lock in a low fixed rate. Before buying a home, we recommend reviewing your personal finances and goals and always comparing mortgages from multiple lenders.

Here are mortgage rates for different styles of loan

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 3.05%, which is a growth of 1 basis point from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. 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 2.31%, which is a decrease of 3 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 bigger monthly payment. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you can 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 ARM has an average rate of 3.07%, the same rate from seven days ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But you might end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate shifts with the market rate. Because of this, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. 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 information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:

Today’s mortgage interest rates

Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 3.05% 3.04% +0.01
15-year fixed rate 2.31% 2.34% -0.03
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 2.80% 2.80% N/C
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.02% 3.04% -0.02

Rates accurate as of Aug. 17, 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. Make sure to consider your current financial situation 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. Generally, you want a good credit score, a higher down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. Beyond the mortgage interest rate, other factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also affect the cost of your home. You should comparison shop with multiple lenders — for example, credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage loan that works best for you.

Read more: 7 things to do before moving into your new home

What’s the best loan term?

One important factor to consider when choosing a mortgage is 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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the market interest rate.

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider how long you plan to stay in your home. For those who plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages might have lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable over time. However you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your house for a couple years. There is no best loan term as an overarching rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It’s important to do your research and know your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.

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