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Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: February 22, 2021 | Rates tick up

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List PlacementMortgage and refinance rates have gone up a tad since last Monday, though they are still at historic lows overall. You may consider going for a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage if you're looking to buy a home or refinance.  Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage,...

Mortgage rates today

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement

Mortgage and refinance rates have gone up a tad since last Monday, though they are still at historic lows overall.

You may consider going for a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re looking to buy a home or refinance. 

Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, told Insider that fixed-rate mortgages are currently a better deal than adjustable-rate mortgages.

Adjustable rates start higher than fixed rates currently, and you may face a future rate increase with an ARM. You might want to lock in a low rate while possible. 

Mortgage rates for Monday, February 22, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.42% 2.33% 2.34%
30-year fixed 3.25% 3.13% 3.11%
7/1 ARM 4.12% 4.07% 4.01%
10/1 ARM 4.39% 3.85% 3.89%

Rates from Money.com

 

Mortgage rates have jumped since last week, with 10/1 ARM rates increasing by 54 basis points. Compared to last month, rates have gone up, albeit slightly. Rates are still at historic lows. 

We’re supplying you with the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider “standard mortgages.” Government-backed mortgage through the FHAVA, or USDA may offer you an improved rate if you qualify. 

In general, mortgage rates remain at all-time lows. Low rates frequently are an indicator of a floundering economy. Mortgage rates will probably remain low as the US continues to bear the brunt of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mortgage refinance rates for Monday, February 22, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.75% 2.58% 2.6%
30-year fixed 3.67% 3.45% 3.61%
7/1 ARM 4.41% 4.52% 4.5%
10/1 ARM 4.55% 4.25% 4.31%

Rates from Money.com

Since last Monday, refinance rates on 15-year fixed mortgages, 30-year fixed mortgages, and 10/1 ARMs have increased. Rates on 7/1 ARMs have gone down 11 basis points since last week and nine basis points since last month.

Best ways to snag a low mortgage rate

You may want to secure a low mortgage rate now, even though most mortgage and refinance rates have risen since last Monday. Rates are still at striking lows. 

However, there’s no need to hurry to apply for a mortgage or refinance. Rates will probably remain low for the coming months, if not years, so you’ll have time to improve your rate by bettering your financial standing. Here are a few ways you can get the lowest possible rate:  

  • Increase your credit score by making payments on time, paying off debts, or letting your credit age. Requesting and reviewing a copy of your credit report may help you find any errors that might be lowering your score. 
  • Save more for a down paymentYou may be able to put down as little as 3% if you’re looking for a conventional mortgage, but the lowest amount will be contingent on which type of mortgage you want. You have an improved opportunity to get a better interest rate from your lender the higher your down payment.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. You can improve your rate by lowering your ratio. To better your ratio, pay down debts or find ways to boost your income. 

You can secure a great rate now if you’re financially ready.

15-year fixed mortgage rates

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you a decade and a half to pay down your mortgage, and you’ll pay a locked-in interest rate for the life of the loan.

A 15-year term will be less expensive than a longer term. You’ll pay off the mortgage in half the time and you’ll get a lower interest rate to boot. 

On the flip side, you’ll fork over higher payments each month with a 15-year fixed mortgage than with a 30-year fixed mortgage. You’ll pay off the same loan principal in half of the time. 

30-year fixed mortgage rates

If you get a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your mortgage over 30 years, and your interest rate will remain the same the whole time. 

You’ll pay more in interest with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term. You’re paying a higher interest rate for longer, so your overall interest paid will be higher. 

However, you’ll cough up less per month with a 30-year mortgage than a 15-year mortgage because you’re splitting up your payments over an extended period. 

Adjustable mortgage rates

A fixed-rate mortgage secures your rate for the lifetime of your loan. But with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll pay a steady rate for the introductory period, then that rate will fluctuate systematically. A 10/1 ARM locks in your rate for a decade. Then your rate will vary once per year. 

Although ARM rates are relatively low now, you still might want to go for a fixed-rate mortgage. The 30-year fixed rates are equivalent to or lower than ARM rates, so it could be the right time to lock in a low rate with a fixed mortgage, and you won’t chance a future rate increase with an ARM.

If you’re thinking about getting an ARM, discuss with your lender what your rates would be if you chose a fixed-rate versus an adjustable-rate mortgage.

You can secure a low rate today. Just make sure you’re financially ready before you do so. 

Ryan Wangman is a reviews fellow at Personal Finance Insider reporting on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

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