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Latest Tech: Today’s mortgage rates for Aug. 31, 2021: Rates increase

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A few key mortgage rates increased today. Average rates for the 15-year and 30-year fixed mortgages both rose, while the average 5/1 adjustable mortgage rate also went up. Mortgage rates always fluctuate, but they are currently at historic lows. Now may be the right time to lock in a low fixed rate. As always, make sure to first consider your personal goals and circumstances before buying a home, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Take a look at mortgage rates for different types of loan

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.08%, which is an increase of 7 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a higher 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 time frame — 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 2.38%, which is an increase of 7 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. You’ll usually 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 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.11%, a climb of 9 basis points from seven days ago. With an ARM, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, since the rate shifts with the market rate, you may end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage might make sense for you. Otherwise, changes in the market means your interest rate could be a good deal higher once the rate adjusts.

Mortgage rate trends

We use data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rates changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the US:

Current average mortgage interest rates

Loan type Interest rate A week ago Change
30-year fixed rate 3.08% 3.01% +0.07
15-year fixed rate 2.38% 2.31% +0.07
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 2.80% 2.80% N/C
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.07% 2.99% +0.08

Updated on Aug. 31, 2021.

How to find personalized mortgage rates

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. When shopping around for home mortgage rates, consider your goals and current financial situation. A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Having a good credit score, a higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. 

Aside from the mortgage interest rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your home. Be sure to shop around with multiple lenders — including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a loan that’s best for you.

How does the loan term impact my mortgage?

When picking a mortgage, remember to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage 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 set for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for a certain number of years (most frequently five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the market interest rate.

When choosing between a fixed- and an adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider how long you plan to live in your house. For people who plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don’t have plans to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. There is no best loan term as an overarching rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Be sure to do your research and think about what’s most important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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