Today’s mortgage rates for March 16, 2021: Major rates mixed

March 16, 2021 0 By boss

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Brittany Hosea-Small/Getty

Mortgage rates varied today. Average 15-year fixed mortgage rates shrank, while average 30-year fixed mortgage rates remained unaltered. We also saw a downward trend in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. Although mortgage rates are always moving, they are lower than they’ve been in years. If you plan to finance a house, now might be an ideal time to get a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first take into account your personal goals and circumstances, and shop around to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

Check out mortgage rates that meet your distinct needs

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 3.24%, which is unchanged compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will usually have a greater 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 2.48%, which is a decrease of 3 basis points compared to a week ago. 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, if you’re able to 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 3.27%, a downtick of 1 basis point from seven days ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But 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 be a good option. But if that’s not the case, you could be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates shift.

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 US:

Today’s mortgage interest rates

Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 3.24% 3.24% N/C
15-year fixed rate 2.48% 2.51% -0.03
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.07% 2.98% +0.09
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.34% 3.31% +0.03

Rates accurate as of March 16, 2021.

How to find personalized mortgage rates

To find a personalized mortgage rate, talk to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. In order to find the best home mortgage, you’ll need to consider your goals and overall financial situation. Things that affect what mortgage rate you might get include: your credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income ratio. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a higher 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 — be sure to also consider other factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make 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 works best 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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are the same for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (typically five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market rate. 

When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to live in your home. If you plan on living long-term in their 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, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage may give you a better deal. The “best” loan term all depends on an individual’s situation and goals, so make sure to take into consideration what’s important 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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