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Mortgage rates on May 14, 2021: Rates are down


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The principal mortgage rates all declined today with the exception of the 15-year fixed mortgage rate, which held firm. But the average 30-year fixed mortgage rates are down, along with the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage. Of course, mortgage rates fluctuate daily — but they have been at historic lows this year. That makes now a particularly good time for prospective homebuyers to lock in a fixed rate. That noted, before you buy a house, consider your larger financial situation and compare offers from different lenders.

Compare nationwide home loan rates from various lenders

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.05%, which is a decline of 2 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but usually a higher interest rate. 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 2.35%, which is the same rate compared to a week ago. You’ll definitely have a larger 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. However, as long as you’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include usually being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.

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5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.07%, a fall of 2 basis points from seven days ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But since the rate changes with the market rate, you may end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. But if that’s not the case, you could be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates change.

Mortgage rate trends

We use rates 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 US:

Today’s mortgage interest rates

Loan termToday’s RateLast weekChange
30-year mortgage rate3.05%3.07%-0.02
15-year fixed rate2.35%2.35%N/C
30-year jumbo mortgage rate3.14%3.19%-0.05
30-year mortgage refinance rate3.09%3.12%-0.03

Rates accurate as of May 14, 2021.

How to find the best mortgage rates

When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can reach out to a local mortgage broker or search online. In order to find the best home mortgage, you’ll need to take into account your goals and current finances. A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. 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. Be sure to also consider other factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Be sure to speak with multiple lenders such as local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders, and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.

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What’s the best loan term?

One important factor to consider when choosing a mortgage is 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. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for a certain number of years (most frequently five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the market interest rate. 

When choosing 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 a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. However you may get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your home for a few years. The “best” loan term all depends on an individual’s situation and goals, so be sure to think about what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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