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Compare current mortgage rates

Betsalel CohenJan 16, 2024
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Check out today's mortgage rates...

Are you purchasing your first home or looking to refinance? Our updated mortgage rate tables can help you make informed decisions. Take a look at the current rates and learn more about mortgage rates to ensure you make the best choices.

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What are mortgage rates?

Mortgages are loans that you take when you use your home or a piece of property as collateral. A mortgage loan can be used to purchase a home or refinance an existing home loan. There are other types of mortgages like a cash-out refinance, second mortgage, or home equity loan.

Mortgage rates are essentially the interest rate you pay on a loan you take out to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage. The mortgage rate determines your monthly mortgage payment and the total amount you'll pay over the life of the loan. When looking at mortgage rates, think about a few things: how long the loan is for, your credit score, and the fees.

How do mortgage rates affect you?

The mortgage rate you choose plays a significant role in determining your monthly house payments. Generally, a higher rate means you'll pay more each month. However, it's crucial to look at the bigger picture. Along with the interest rate, you should also consider other factors like loan fees and the length of the loan. These elements combined will give you a more complete understanding of the total cost of your mortgage.

Check the monthly payment: Here's a simple example to illustrate how interest rates affect monthly payments for a $200,000 loan:

Loan Term5% Interest Rate6% Interest Rate7% Interest Rate
10 years$2,121$2,224$2,330
15 years$1,582$1,689$1,799
30 years$1,074$1,199$1,331

Here is a breakdown of the different terms:

  • 10 years: Shorter-term loans like a 10-year mortgage will have higher monthly payments, but you'll pay less interest over the life of the loan.
  • 15 years: This is a middle-ground option, offering a balance between monthly payment size and total interest paid.
  • 30 years: The most common term, a 30-year loan, has the lowest monthly payments, but you'll pay more in interest over time.

Check fees: For instance, choosing a lower interest rate can lower your monthly payment and save you money on interest throughout the loan. However, higher fees or a longer loan term could cancel out these savings. On the other hand, a slightly higher interest rate with lower fees or a shorter term may end up being more affordable in the end. Remember, the mortgage rate is just one part of the overall cost of a loan. It's important also to consider fees and other costs when choosing a mortgage. However, all else being equal, a higher interest rate does lead to higher monthly payments.

Choosing the right mortgage rate is about finding a balance that aligns with your budget and future plans. Consider how long you plan to stay in your home and what you can comfortably afford each month. The best mortgage for you is one that makes owning your home a joy, not a stress, and fits within your overall financial picture.

Types of Mortgages and Their Rates

Navigating the world of mortgages can be easier when you understand the different types of mortgage programs available. There are two primary types of programs available for buying and refinancing a house: conventional loans and government-backed loans. They are designed to meet a range of needs. Additionally, the terms and sizes of these loans, including jumbo loans, play a crucial role in determining the right fit for your financial situation.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans are the most popular type of mortgage. Conventional loans, which are not insured by the government, typically require a higher credit score and down payment. They offer flexibility in loan amounts and terms, making them ideal for borrowers with a strong financial profile seeking competitive rates.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises play a pivotal role in the mortgage market by buying and guaranteeing mortgages from lenders. This process is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Market Stability: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac help lenders give out more loans by buying mortgages. This keeps the mortgage market stable and could result in lower mortgage rates.
  2. Rate Benchmarks: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have rules about the home loans they buy. These rules look at things like your credit score, your credit history, and how much of your home's value you own. The interest rates for these loans change based on these rules because they help decide how risky the loan is.
  3. Consumer Impact: The involvement of these GSEs in the mortgage market indirectly affects consumers. By ensuring a steady supply of mortgage funds and setting loan standards, they contribute to the availability of competitive mortgage rates for conventional loans.

Government-Backed Loans

These loans have a special backing from the government and come in different types like FHA (Federal Housing Administration), VA (Veterans Affairs) for military folks, and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loans. They're great for people who might find it hard to get a regular loan because their credit score isn't too high or they can't afford a big initial payment. Government loans are usually easier to handle. They require smaller initial payments and are more flexible with credit scores.

Loan Terms and Sizes

Mortgage loans come in different lengths, usually 10 to 30 years. If the loan is longer, you have more time to pay it back. However, the interest rate is usually higher. This means you end up paying more money over time. Some loans, called 'jumbo' loans, are for very expensive houses. They are larger than the loans the government usually allows, so they have stricter requirements for your credit score and how much money you need to pay upfront.

Purchase and Refinance Mortgages

Both purchase and refinance mortgages are available under conventional and government-backed programs. While purchase mortgages are used for buying a new home, refinance mortgages are chosen to improve the terms of an existing loan.

Mortgage Rates by States

Frequently Asked Questions

What determines today's mortgage rates?


Overall, mortgage rates are outside your control.

Mortgage rates are influenced by a mix of national economic trends, federal policy decisions, and your personal financial situation, like your credit score.

However, you can control how prepared you are to qualify for the best rates available, understand what steps will get you a better rate, and then do what you need to get a better rate.

How often do rates change?


Mortgage rates can change daily or even during the day. A rate you see advertised is not guaranteed to be the rate that is available when you speak with a lender. Even if you speak with a lender and are quoted a rate during a pre-qualification, the quoted rate is not binding. You wouldn't know your rate until you submit a loan application, the lender approves your request, and the lender formally locks it.

How often should I check mortgage rates if I'm planning to buy a home?


It's wise to check the rates weekly. This helps you stay informed about the market trends and plan your home-buying process more effectively.

Can I lock in a mortgage rate and how does it work?


Yes, you can lock in a rate. This means you agree with the lender to secure a specific rate for a set period, protecting you from rate increases while your loan is being processed.