Mortgage Rates March 26, 2021: Rates Go Down

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Some mortgage rates have gone down today. Both 15-year fixed mortgage rates and 30-year fixed mortgage rates have stalled. The average rate for the most common type of variable rate mortgage, the 5/1 variable rate mortgage, has also declined. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are at historically low levels. If you are looking to get a fixed rate, now is a great time to buy a home. Before buying a home, remember to consider your personal needs and financial situation, and compare offers from several lenders to find the one that’s right for you.



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Kurt Wittman / Getty



a house covered in snow


© Kurt Wittman / Getty


Check out the mortgage rates that meet your specific needs

30-year fixed rate mortgages

The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.23%, which is down 9 basis points from a week ago. (One basis point equals 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30 year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15 year mortgage, but often a higher interest rate. 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.

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15-year fixed rate mortgages

The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.47%, down 5 basis points from seven days ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and the same interest rate will have a higher monthly payment. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, a 15-year loan has several advantages. You will usually get a lower interest rate and pay less interest overall because you pay off your mortgage much faster.

5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

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A 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.24%, down 11 basis points from seven days ago. With an ARM mortgage, you will typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, you could end up paying more after this period, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. If you plan to sell or refinance your home before rates change, an adjustable rate mortgage may be a good option. Otherwise, changes in the market mean that your interest rate can be much higher after the rate is adjusted.

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 in the United States:

Average mortgage interest rates

Product Rate Last week Switch
30 years fixed 3.23% 3.32% -0.09
15 years fixed 2.47% 2.52% -0.05
Giant 30-year mortgage rate 3.14% 3.12% +0.02
30-year mortgage refinancing rate 3.31% 3.43% -0.12

Prices as of March 26, 2021.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or by using an online calculator. In order to find the best home loan, you will need to consider your goals and your overall financial situation. Things that affect the mortgage interest rate you might get include: your credit rating, down payment, loan-to-value ratio, and debt-to-income ratio. Typically, you want a good credit score, larger down payment, lower DTI, and lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. In addition to the mortgage interest rate, factors such as closing costs, fees, points of rebate, and taxes may also be factored into the cost of your home. Be sure to speak with multiple lenders – like local and state banks, credit unions, and online lenders – and a comparator to find the best loan for you.

How does the term of the loan affect my mortgage?

When choosing a mortgage, you should consider the length of the loan or the repayment schedule. The most commonly offered loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10, 20 and 40 year mortgages. The mortgages are then divided into 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 (typically five, seven, or 10 years) and then the rate changes each year based on the current 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. Fixed rate mortgages might be better suited for people who plan to live in your new home for a while. Fixed rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to variable rate mortgages, but variable rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates initially. 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 will depend on your specific circumstances and goals, so be sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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