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Mortgage rates on Sep. 3, 2021: Rates push higher

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A variety of major mortgage rates increased today. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages both crept higher. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also climbed. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in years. For those looking to get a fixed rate, now is an excellent time to buy a house. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before buying a home, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Here are mortgage rates for different styles of loan

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.08%, which is a growth of 7 basis points compared to 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 usually have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. 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 2.38%, which is an increase of 7 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll definitely 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. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you can afford the monthly payments. 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 3.11%, a climb of 9 basis points from seven days ago. With an ARM mortgage, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, you might end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. Because of this, an ARM might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. Otherwise, shifts in the market means your interest rate could be significantly 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 daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:

Average mortgage interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed 3.08% 3.01% +0.07
15-year fixed 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

Rates as of Sep. 3, 2021.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

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, think about your goals and current financial situation. Specific interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. 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 interest rate, other factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your home. Be sure to talk to several different lenders — for example, local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.

What’s the best loan term?

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 fixed for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate changes annually based on the market rate.

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about how long you plan to live in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on staying in a home for a while. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. However you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only have plans to keep your house for a couple years. There is no best loan term as a rule of thumb; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Be sure to do your research and understand your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.

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