A variety of key mortgage rates have come down today. Average interest rates on 15-year and 30-year fixed mortgages have fallen. The average rate for the most common type of variable rate mortgage, the 5/1 variable rate mortgage, also declined. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are historically low. For this reason, now is the perfect time for potential buyers to lock in to a fixed rate. But as always, be sure to consider your personal goals and circumstances first before buying a home, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.
30-year fixed rate mortgages
The 30-year average fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.14%, down 4 basis points from a week ago. (One basis point equals 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30 year fixed rate mortgage will generally have a higher interest rate than a 15 year fixed rate mortgage, but also a lower monthly payment. While you will pay more interest over time – you pay off your loan over a longer period – 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-rate mortgage is 2.44%, which is 2 basis points down from a week ago. You will likely have a higher 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. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, a 15-year loan has several advantages. This usually comes down to being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest over the long term.
5/1 adjustable rate mortgages
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 3.13%, down 5 basis points from last week. With an ARM mortgage, you will typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But as the rate changes with the market rate, you could end up paying more after this period, as described in your loan terms. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their home before rates change, an adjustable rate mortgage may be a good option. But if it doesn’t, you might be forced to pay a much higher interest rate if market rates change.
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 nationwide:
Current average mortgage interest rates
|Type of loan||Interest rate||A week ago||Switch|
|30-year fixed rate||3.14%||3.18%||-0.04|
|15-year fixed rate||2.44%||2.46%||-0.02|
|Giant 30-year mortgage rate||2.76%||2.80%||-0.04|
|30-year mortgage refinancing rate||3.13%||3.16%||-0.03|
Updated October 29, 2021.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
When you’re ready to apply for a loan, you can contact a local mortgage broker or search online. In order to find the best mortgage loan, you will need to consider your goals and current finances. Things that affect the interest rate you might get on your mortgage include: your credit rating, down payment, loan-to-value ratio, and debt-to-income ratio. Typically, you want a good credit score, higher down payment, lower DTI, and lower LTV to get a lower interest rate.
Beyond the mortgage interest rate, other factors, including closing costs, fees, points of rebate, and taxes, may also be factored into the cost of your home. You should speak with several lenders – for example, local and state banks, credit unions, and online lenders – and comparators to find the best mortgage for you.
How does the term of the loan affect my mortgage?
An important thing to consider when choosing a mortgage loan is the term of the loan or the payment schedule. The most common mortgages are for 15 years and 30 years, although there are also 10, 20 and 40 year mortgages. Another important distinction is between fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages. The interest rates for a fixed rate mortgage are set for the term of the loan. For variable rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for a number of years (most often five, seven, or 10 years) and then the rate fluctuates annually based on the market interest rate.
One factor to consider when choosing between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage is how long you plan to live in your home. For people who plan to stay in a new home for the long term, fixed rate mortgages may be the best option. While variable rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates initially, fixed rate mortgages are more stable over the long term. If you don’t plan on keeping your new home for more than three to ten years, an adjustable rate mortgage might give you a better deal. The best loan term depends on your personal circumstances and goals, so be sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.