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The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ended the week at 4.069%, despite spending most of the week on a downward trend that saw rates move below 4%. Borrowers interested in a mortgage refinance are seeing an average rate of 4.178%, while those interested in a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage can expect rates averaging 2.607%.
Money’s daily mortgage rates reflect what a borrower with a 20% down payment and a 700 credit score — roughly the national average score — might pay if he or she applied for a home loan right now. Each day’s rates are based on the average rate 8,000 lenders offered to applicants the previous business day. Freddie Mac’s weekly rates will generally be lower, since they measure rates offered to borrowers with higher credit scores.
Looking for a loan? Check out Money’s lists of the best mortgage lenders and best refinance lenders.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular home loan in America. The long payback time and relatively low monthly payments are big pluses, as are the fixed interest rate and steady monthly payments. The trade-off is that the interest rate will be higher than the rate on a shorter-term loan, meaning you’ll pay more total interest.
The shorter payback time and lower interest rate of a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage are attractive to some borrowers because they’ll pay less total interest and pay the loan off faster. However, the monthly payments will be higher than those on an equivalent 30-year loan, so borrowers should make sure they can afford the higher payments.
The interest rate on adjustable-rate mortgages will be fixed at first, then become variable and adjust on a set schedule. A 5/1 ARM, for example, will have a fixed rate for five years before it starts adjusting annually. An ARM could be a good option for borrowers who plan on selling the home before the fixed-rate period ends or would consider refinancing if the interest rate increases significantly once it starts adjusting.
The average rates for FHA, VA and jumbo loans are:
The average refinance rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans and ARMs are:
Mortgage rates sank through 2020. Millions of homeowners responded to low mortgage rates by refinancing existing loans and taking out new ones. Many people bought homes they may not have been able to afford if rates were higher. In January 2021, rates briefly dropped to the lowest levels on record, but trended slightly higher through the rest of the year.
Looking ahead, experts believe interest rates will rise more in 2022, but also modestly. Factors that could influence rates include continued economic improvement and more gains in the labor market. The Federal Reserve has also begun tapering its purchase of mortgage-backed securities and announced it anticipates raising the federal funds rate three times in 2022 to combat rising inflation.
While mortgage rates are likely to rise, experts say the increase won’t happen overnight and it won’t be a dramatic jump. Rates should stay near historically low levels through the first half of the year, rising slightly later in the year. Even with rising rates, it will still be a favorable time to finance a new home or refinance a mortgage.
Factors that influence mortgage rates include:
There is no universal mortgage rate that all borrowers receive. Qualifying for the lowest mortgage rates takes a little bit of work and will depend on both personal financial factors and market conditions.
Check your credit score and credit report. Errors or other red flags may be dragging your credit score down. Borrowers with the highest credit scores are the ones who will get the best rates, so checking your credit report before you start the house-hunting process is key. Taking steps to fix errors will help you raise your score. If you have high credit card balances, paying them down can also provide a quick boost.
Save up money for a sizeable down payment. This will lower your loan-to-value ratio, which means how much of the home’s price the lender has to finance. A lower LTV usually translates to a lower mortgage rate. Lenders also like to see money that has been saved in an account for at least 60 days. It tells the lender you have the money to finance the home purchase.
Shop around for the best rate. Don’t settle for the first interest rate that a lender offers you. Check with at least three different lenders to see who offers the lowest interest. Also consider different types of lenders, such as credit unions and online lenders in addition to traditional banks.
Also. take time to find out about different loan types. While the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage, consider a shorter-term loan like a 15-year loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage. These types of loans often come with a lower rate than a conventional 30-year mortgage. Compare the costs of all to see which one best fits your needs and financial situation. Government loans — such as those backed by the Federal Housing Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture — can be more affordable options for those who qualify.
Finally, lock in your rate. Locking your rate once you’ve found the right rate, loan product and lender will help guarantee your mortgage rate won’t increase before you close on the loan.
Money’s daily mortgage rates show the average rate offered by over 8,000 lenders across the United States the most recent business day rates are available for. Today, we are showing rates for Thursday, January 26, 2022. Our rates reflect what a typical borrower with a 700 credit score might expect to pay for a home loan right now. These rates were offered to people putting 20% down and include discount points.
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