Mortgage interest rates as of Sept. 8, 2021: 15-year fixed drops, others vary – CNET

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Mortgage rates varied today. While 15-year fixed-rate mortgages saw an overall decrease, the average interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages remained untouched. For variable rates, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages saw a slight increase. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but have recently been at historic lows. Because of this, now might be the ideal time to lock in a low rate. Before you buy a home, remember to review your personal goals and financial situation, and shop around for different lenders to find the best one for you.

Take a look at mortgage rates for different types of loan

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.03%, which is unchanged as of seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but often a higher interest rate. 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 2.33%, which is a decrease of 1 basis point from seven days 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, as long as you can 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 ARM has an average rate of 3.05%, a climb of 1 basis point from seven days ago. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. But since the rate changes with the market rate, you may end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an ARM may be a good option. Otherwise, changes in the market means your interest rate might be a good deal higher once the rate adjusts.

Mortgage rate trends

We use information 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 across the country:

Current average mortgage interest rates

Loan type Interest rate A week ago Change
30-year fixed rate 3.03% 3.03% N/C
15-year fixed rate 2.33% 2.34% -0.01
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 2.80% 2.81% -0.01
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.00% 3.00% N/C

Updated on Sept. 8, 2021.

How to find the best 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 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 interest rate. Having a good credit score, a larger 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. Make sure you talk to a variety of lenders — for example, local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison-shop to find the best mortgage for you.

What is a good loan term?

One important consideration when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan 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 fixed 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 (commonly five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate.

One factor to think about when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on staying in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on living in a home for a while. 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 might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re only planning to keep your house for a couple years. There is no best loan term as a general rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Make sure to do your research and understand what’s most important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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