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The 30-Year Mortgage Rate Drops Lower | August 30, 2021

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.284%, lower than the average rate on Friday.

Most other fixed-rate loans are also starting this week lower. The exceptions are VA loans, which saw rates move higher, and the jumbo 30-year mortgage, which is unchanged. Adjustable-rate mortgages were a mixed bag, with some rates increasing while others stayed the same or decreased.

Although most rates are a little lower today, their weekend movement was relatively small. Borrowers with very good credit who plan on applying for a new mortgage or to refinance their current loan should be able to find favorable rates and low monthly payments.

The latest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.284%.
The latest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.415%.
The latest rate on a 5/1 jumbo ARM is 2.207%.
The latest rate on a 7/1 conforming ARM is 4.111%.
The latest rate on a 10/1 conforming ARM is 3.464%.

Current mortgage rates: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates

The 30-year rate is 3.284%.
That’s a one-day decrease of 0.03 percentage points. ⇓
That’s a one-month increase of 0.056 percentage points. ⇑

The most common type of mortgage is a 30- year fixed-rate loan thanks to predictable interest rates and monthly payments. The 30-year is also chosen by most borrowers because its long payback time results in lower and more affordable monthly payments. However, the interest rate tends to be higher than the rate on a shorter-term loan, so you’ll end up paying more in interest.

Current mortgage rates: 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates

The 15-year rate is 2.415%.
That’s a one-day decrease of 0.015 percentage points. ⇓
That’s a one-month increase of 0.089 percentage points. ⇑

A shorter-term loan like a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage will have a higher monthly payment than a 30-year loan of the same amount because the payback time is cut in half. The advantage of this type of loan is that the interest rate is usually lower, which means you’ll actually save money by not having to pay as much interest.

Current mortgage rates: 5/1 jumbo adjustable-rate mortgage rates

The 5/1 ARM rate is 2.207%.
That’s unchanged from Friday. ⇔
That’s a one-month increase of 0.043 percentage points. ⇑

Another type of loan is the adjustable-rate mortgage. ARMs generally start at a low introductory rate. After a few years the rate will become adjustable. Monthly payments will follow and react to any changes in the rate. For example, a 5/1 ARM will have a fixed rate and monthly payment for five years. Afterward, the rate will change annually until the loan is paid off. There are a number of different ARM terms to choose from, including a 7/1 ARM and a 10/1 ARM.

Current mortgage rates: VA, FHA and jumbo loan rates

The average rates for FHA, VA and jumbo loans are:

The rate on a 30-year FHA mortgage is 3.048%. ⇓
The rate on a 30-year VA mortgage is 3.088%. ⇑
The rate on a 30-year jumbo mortgage is 3.408%. ⇔

Current mortgage refinance rates

The average rates for 30-year loans, 15- year loans and 5/1 jumbo ARMs are:

The refinance rate on a 30-year fixed-rate refinance is 3.452%. ⇓
The refinance rate on a 15-year fixed-rate refinance is 2.527%. ⇓
The refinance rate on a 5/1 jumbo ARM is 2.478%. ⇔
The refinance rate on a 7/1 conforming ARM is 4.46%. ⇑
The refinance rate on a 10/1 conforming ARM is 3,873%. ⇓

Where are mortgage rates heading this year?

Mortgage rates sunk 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 higher through the month and into February.

Looking ahead, experts believe interest rates will rise more in 2021, but modestly. Factors that could influence rates include how quickly the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed and when lawmakers can agree on another economic relief package. More vaccinations and stimulus from the government could lead to improved economic conditions, which would boost rates.

While mortgage rates are likely to rise this year, 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:

The Federal Reserve. The Fed took swift action when the pandemic hit the United States in March of 2020. The Fed announced plans to keep money moving through the economy by dropping the short-term Federal Fund interest rate to between 0% and 0.25%, which is as low as they go. The central bank also pledged to buy mortgage-backed securities and treasuries, propping up the housing finance market. The Fed has reaffirmed its commitment to these policies for the foreseeable future multiple times, most recently at a late January policy meeting.
The 10-year Treasury note. Mortgage rates move in lockstep with the yields on the government’s 10-year Treasury note. Yields dropped below 1% for the first time in March 2020 and have been slowly rising since then. Currently, yields have been hovering above 1% since the beginning of the year, pushing interest rates slightly higher. On average, there is typically a 1.8 point “spread” between Treasury yields and benchmark mortgage rates.
The broader economy. Unemployment rates and changes in gross domestic product are important indicators of the overall health of the economy. When employment and GDP growth are low, it means the economy is weak, which can push interest rates down. Thanks to the pandemic, unemployment levels reached all-time highs early last year and have not yet recovered. GDP also took a hit, and while it has bounced back somewhat, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Tips for getting the lowest mortgage rate possible

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 that 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.

Our mortgage rate methodology

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 Friday, August 27, 2021. 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.

More from Money:

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Mortgage Calculator by Money
How to Get the Lowest Mortgage Rate: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homebuyers
Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Mortgage? A Decision-Making Guide
You’re Only Ready to Buy a House if You Can Answer ‘Yes’ to These 7 Questions`

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