Here are today’s mortgage rates on March 17, 2021: Rates climb

March 17, 2021 0 By boss

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A few important mortgage rates climbed today. While 15-year fixed mortgage rates were steady, interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages made gains. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, advanced. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are at historic lows. Because of this, right now is a good time for prospective homebuyers to secure a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a house, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Find current mortgage rates for today

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.24%, which is an increase of 4 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan terms. A 30-year fixed mortgage will typically have a greater 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 timeframe — if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, this may be a good option.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.48%, which is the same rate from the same time last week. You’ll definitely have a bigger 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, as long as you’re able to afford the monthly payments. These include typically being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.27%, an increase of 3 basis points compared to last week. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. But 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. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an ARM may be a good option. Otherwise, changes in the market mean 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 country.

Current average mortgage interest rates

Loan type Interest rate A week ago Change
30-year fixed rate 3.24% 3.20% +0.04
15-year fixed rate 2.48% 2.48% N/C
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.12% 2.98% +0.14
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.34% 3.26% +0.08

Updated on March 17, 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. In order to find the best home mortgage, you’ll need to consider your goals and overall financial situation. A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect your mortgage rate. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home — you should also consider other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. 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 loan for you.

What’s the best loan term?

When picking a mortgage, remember to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common mortgage terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are stable for the duration of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate. 

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to stay in your home. If you plan on living long-term in your new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable over time. If you don’t have plans to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, though, 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. It’s important to do your research and think about what matters to you when choosing a mortgage.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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