Whats A Good Mortgage Rate Today
Mortgage rates change all the time. So a good mortgage rate could look drastically different from one day to the next.
Throughout the first half of 2021, the best mortgage rates have been in the high-2% range. And a good mortgage rate has been around 3% to 3.25%.
Of course, these numbers vary a lot from one borrower to the next, as we explain below.
Top-tier borrowers could see mortgage rates in the 2.5-3% range at the same time lower-credit borrowers are seeing rates in the high-3% to 4% range.
In addition, looking forward in 2021, interest rates seem likely to increase. So a good mortgage rate later this year could be substantially higher than what it is today.
Jumbo Vs Conventional Loans
Are you looking to buy a house? Before you start daydreaming about your new home, you need to consider which type of mortgage you’re going to use to buy it. You could opt for a regular conforming mortgage. But what if you want to buy an expensive home? For that, you probably need a jumbo mortgage.
Jumbo mortgages are large loans that fall above the federal loan limit. These loans are typically harder to qualify for than conforming loans, but they can offer competitive interest rates. Theyre also a convenient way for borrowers to secure the money they need to purchase expensive homes.
How To Find A Good Mortgage Rate
Everyone wants the lowest mortgage rate possible. But what is a good deal? And how do you know youre getting the best rate available?
The first question is hard to answer, because a good rate is different for everyone. It could be 2.75% for one borrower and 3.25% for another on the same day.
But the second question how to find your best rate is an easy one.
All you have to do is check with a few different lenders. Their estimates will show you what a good rate looks like for your unique situation.
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How Do I Get A Mortgage
To get a mortgage, you need to start by getting your finances in order. Having a strong financial profile will a) increase your chances of being approved for a loan, and b) help you score a lower interest rate. Here are some steps you can take to beef up your finances:
- Figure out how much home you can afford. The general rule of thumb is that your monthly home expenses should be 28% or less of your gross monthly income.
- Find out what credit score you need. Each type of mortgage requires a different credit score, and requirements can vary by lender. You’ll probably need a score of at least 620 for a conventional mortgage. You can increase your score by making payments on time, paying down debt, and letting your credit age.
- Save for a down payment. Depending on which type of mortgage you get, you may need as much as 20% for a down payment. Putting down even more could land you a better interest rate.
- Check your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. Many lenders want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less, but it depends on which type of mortgage you get. To lower your ratio, pay down debt or consider ways to increase your income.
Then, it’s time to shop around and get quotes from multiple lenders before deciding which one to use.
What Are Federal Reserve Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve Bank, or Fed, is the central bank in the United States. This bank sets what is called the federal funds rate, a rate one bank will charge another bank for quick, overnight loans needed to meet their legal reserve mandates.
The Fed also sets the federal discount rate, which is interest the Fed charges banks when they borrow from the Federal Reserve itself.
These Federal Reserve rates impact the rates that banks charge for loan products.
Generally, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in good economic times, and lower them when the country is facing recessions. Low rates encourage consumers to spend rather than save, thereby re-boosting a receding economy. The rates are meant to help control inflation.
Lenders will raise and lower their rates to match the Federal Reserve. An example of loans that will be affected by Federal Reserve rates include:
- Auto loans
- Savings accounts
- Certificates of Deposits
One interest rate that isnt directly affected by the Fed is your mortgage rate. Mortgage rates are affected by investors who buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Although a federal hike may have a small impact on mortgage rates, experts generally look to other factors.
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Loandepot Best For Repeat Borrowers
The Foothill Ranch, California-headquartered loanDepot was founded in 2010. It has more than 200 locations throughout the U.S. and is licensed to lend in all 50 states.
What to keep in mind
LoanDepot offers an entirely online application process, including proprietary software that allows you to digitally verify your information. Although, it also has physical locations if you prefer face-to-face interactions. Once youve taken out a mortgage with this lender, it offers incentives if you refinance with it. It will waive lender fees and reimburse you for the appraisal fees if you qualify for its Lifetime Guarantee offer.
How Can You Apply For A Mortgage Rate
If youre asking yourself, What mortgage rate can I get? your best bet is to evaluate your finances and apply for a mortgage. Before you apply for a mortgage rate, ask yourself these questions:
- What can you afford monthly?
- Could you adapt if mortgage rates rise?
- What is the current trend of rates, and will that continue?
- How long will you live in the home you purchase?
- Where will you be living?
With those questions, you can help yourself eventually choose what type of loan is best for you. Since that and other factors weve mentioned before impact your mortgage rate, expect to provide financial information as you seek what a lender can offer you.
Which Mortgages Come With The Lowest Interest Rates
Generally, the interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages will be higher than those on offer from variable deals.
This is because you’re paying a bit more for the security of knowing what your repayments will look like every month.
The same thinking applies with longer fixed-rate deals of five years or more. The lender is taking on a bigger risk by offering these deals as rates in the wider market might rise during that time, so a longer-term fixed rate will often be higher than a shorter-term one.
In September 2019, we analysed Moneyfacts data to find the average interest rates for each mortgage type. See the table below for the results.
Pay Attention To Mortgage Insurance
If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, youll typically have to pay private mortgage insurance . And those premiums can add significantly to your monthly payments.
The cost of mortgage insurance will be reflected in your APR but not in your interest rate. The same goes for the mortgage insurance premiums on an FHA loan.
So make sure you learn about the cost and benefits of mortgage insurance before you commit to a loan.
How Much Can I Borrow For A Mortgage
How much you can borrow for a mortgage varies by person, and depends on your financial situation: your credit, your income, and the amount of cash you have available for a down payment. The general rule of thumb for a conforming mortgage is a 20% down payment. On a $400,000 home, that would mean you need $80,000 up front.
Note that this calculation may be different if you qualify for a different type of mortgage like an FHA or VA loan, which require smaller down payments, or if you’re looking for a “jumbo loan” over $548,250 in most parts of the US in 2021 .
You don’t have to go with the first bank to offer you a mortgage. Like anything else, different servicers offer different fees, closing costs, and products, so you’ll want to get a few estimates before deciding where to get your mortgage.
What Are The Different Types Of Mortgages
Mortgages come with all sorts of different interest rates and terms. These influence not only how long it will take to pay off your loan, but also how much your monthly payments will be.
These are some of the most common types of mortgages home buyers use:
A fixed-rate mortgage has a set interest rate for the life of the loan. With this type of loan, your mortgage rate will never change. While your overall monthly payments could still fluctuate based on property taxes or other factors changing over the course of your mortgage, a fixed rate locks in how much youll pay in interest over the course of your loan. And if interest rates drop to below your current rate, you can refinance to a lower rate.
Two of the more popular mortgage terms for fixed-rate loans are 15- and 30-year mortgages.
An ARM is usually a 30-year term loan with an interest rate that changes over time, in line with market averages. When the interest rate changes depends on the loan. Common ARM terms are 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1. The first number designates the first year your interest rate will change, and the second number is how frequently the interest rate resets after the first time. So a 5/1 ARM adjusts the rate after 5 years, and then annually after that. Most ARMs reset annually after the initial adjustment.
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What Is A Higher
In general, a higher-priced mortgage loan is one with an annual percentage rate, or APR, higher than a benchmark rate called the Average Prime Offer Rate.
The Average Prime Offer Rate is an annual percentage rate that is based on average interest rates, fees, and other terms on mortgages offered to highly qualified borrowers.
Your mortgage will be considered a higher-priced mortgage loan if the APR is a certain percentage higher than the APOR depending on what type of loan you have:
- First-lien mortgages: If your mortgage is a first-lien mortgage, the lender of this mortgage will be the first to be paid if you go into foreclosure. In general, a first-lien mortgage is higher-priced if the APR is 1.5 percentage points or more higher than the APOR.
- Jumbo loans: If your mortgage is a first-lien jumbo loan, it is generally higher-priced if the APR is 2.5 percentage points or more higher than the APOR.
- Subordinate-lien mortgages: If your mortgage is a subordinate-lien mortgage, sometimes called a second-lien mortgage or junior-lien mortgage, and you go into foreclosure, the lender of this mortgage will be paid only after your first-lien mortgage is paid off. A subordinate-lien mortgage is generally higher-priced if the APR of this mortgage is 3.5 percentage points or more higher than the APOR.
Why does it matter if I have a higher-priced mortgage loan?
How Are Mortgage Rates Set
Mortgage rates fluctuate for the same reasons the price of homes change supply, demand, inflation, and even the U.S. employment rate can all impact mortgage rates. But the demand for homes isnt necessarily a sign of where mortgage rates are headed. The best indicator of whether rates will go up or down is the 10-year Treasury bond rate.
When a lender issues a mortgage it takes that loan and packages it together with a bunch of other mortgages, creating a mortgage-backed security , which is a type of bond. These bonds are then sold to investors so the bank has money for new loans. Mortgage bonds and 10-year Treasury bonds are similar investments and compete for the same buyers, which is why the rates for both move up or down in tandem.
If the demand for these safer bond investments is low, the mortgage interest rate increases to attract buyers. When there is strong demand for these investments, they can be sold more easily and the mortgage interest rates decrease. Thats why, in a slumping economy, when more investors want to purchase safer investments, like mortgage-backed securities and treasury bonds, rates tend to go down. The Federal Reserve has been purchasing MBS and treasury bonds, and this increased demand has led to the lowest mortgage rates on record.
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What Is A Good Mortgage Rate
Average mortgages rates have been at historically low levels for months, even dipping below 3% for 30-year fixed-rate loans for the first time ever. If you can get a mortgage with an interest rate below 3%, you could be getting the deal of a lifetime.
But even if youre getting a low interest rate, you need to pay attention to the fees. Hidden inside a good mortgage rate can be excessive fees or discount points that can offset the savings youre getting with a low rate.
What Is An Interest Rate
The interest rate is the amount a lender charges a borrower and is a percentage of the principalthe amount loaned. The interest rate on a loan is typically noted on an annual basis known as the annual percentage rate .
An interest rate can also apply to the amount earned at a bank or credit union from a savings account or certificate of deposit . Annual percentage yield refers to the interest earned on these deposit accounts.
Interest Rates: Nominal and Real
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Mortgage Rates: 3 Things That Affect How Much You Pay
If youre considering buying a home, youve probably played with a few online calculators or noted the compelling mortgage interest rates advertised on billboards, banner ads, and bank branch placards.
But will you actually qualify for those rates?
Its a smart question. If youre new to the mortgage market, there are two kinds of mortgage interest rates: There is the best-advertised rate, and then there is the slightly different rate you may pay based on factors including your credit score, loan size, and home purchase price.
So what exactly is the best-advertised rate? Its that 3% 30-year fixed loan marketed in your bank branch that looks really gooduntil you squint to read the signboard footnotes explaining that to get it youd need an 800+ FICO score, 30% down payment, and dozens of additional criteria to qualify.
Heres a look at several factors that can impact your borrowing power and how lenders apply them to mortgage decisions. You may not be able to change some factorsfor instance, it can take many months to improve a depressed credit scorebut understanding them can help you set expectations.
Closing Costs On Jumbo Loans
Simply put, jumbo mortgages have higher closing costs than normal mortgages. Theres a lot more to assess and those extra qualification steps take time.
As well as higher closing costs, you may also need to pay for a second home appraisal. Lenders do this to offset some of their risk. Make sure youve considered all the closing costs, as well as the down payment and cash reserves youll need to have on hand before applying for a jumbo mortgage.
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How To Find The Best Mortgage Rate For You
Different lenders will look at your financial circumstances in different ways.
For example, a lender that specializes in FHA loans will rarely raise an eyebrow if your credit score is in the 580620 range. But one that caters to super-prime borrowers likely wont give you the time of day.
Ideally, you want a mortgage lender that is used to dealing with people who are financially similar to you. And the best way to find your ideal lender is by comparing loan offers.
Heres how to do that.
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Shop At A Mix Of Financial Institutions
Your finances are in order, and you know what type of loan you want. Now its time to shop around for a mortgage.
This is likely going to be the biggest purchase of your life its not a bad idea to go to two or three financial institutions, Morse says. Rates can fluctuate daily and even from hour to hour, he adds, so take that into account while shopping. You might want to shop on different days to get a mix of options.
Start with your bank or credit union, as they may offer you a better rate simply for having an existing banking relationship with them. Make sure youre also checking other credit unions, national banks, and local or regional banks.
From one lender to the next, you may see different promotional rates, fees, interest rates and offers for discount points. For example, Morse says his credit union doesnt charge an application fee, which saves about $500. Fortunately, lenders must provide you with a standard Loan Estimate, which makes it easier for you to compare loans.
Heads up: Shopping for a mortgage will add a hard inquiry to your credit reports, which may temporarily lower your scores. Try to limit your shopping to a 45-day window, as multiple credit inquiries from mortgage lenders within this time frame may be treated as just one.