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Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: March 26, 2021 | Rates dip

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement Most mortgage and refinance rates have ticked down since last Friday, with 7/1 ARM rates decreasing by 38 basis points. Overall, rates are low.  You may prefer a fixed-rate mortgage as opposed to an adjustable-rate mortgage if you're looking to buy a home or to refinance....

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement 

Most mortgage and refinance rates have ticked down since last Friday, with 7/1 ARM rates decreasing by 38 basis points. Overall, rates are low. 

You may prefer a fixed-rate mortgage as opposed to an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re looking to buy a home or to refinance. Currently, fixed-rate mortgages are a more favorable deal than adjustable-rate mortgages because ARM rates start higher, and you might face a future rate increase. 

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Mortgage rates for Friday, March 26, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.64% 2.68% 2.59%
30-year fixed 3.55% 3.63% 3.49%
7/1 ARM 4.32% 4.7% 4.27%
10/1 ARM 4.38% 4.61% 4.44%

Rates from Money.com

Learn more and get offers from multiple lenders »

All mortgage rates are down from last week, with rates on all mortgages dipping by at least four basis points. However, fixed rates and 7/1 ARM rates have increased since this point last month.

We’re giving you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you think of as “standard mortgages.” You may earn a better rate with a government-backed mortgage through the FHAVA, or USDA.

Refinance rates for Friday, March 26, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.96% 3.01% 2.94%
30-year fixed 3.84% 3.9% 3.9%
7/1 ARM 4.75% 4.88% 5.21%
10/1 ARM 4.86% 4.85% 5.07%

Rates from Money.com

Click here to compare offers from refinance lenders »

Since last Friday, most refinance rates have gone down, including 7/1 ARM rates, which have fallen by 13 basis points. You can lock in a 15-year fixed rate below 3% today.

Overall, rates remain low. Low rates frequently are a signal of a struggling economy. As the US continues to grapple with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates will probably stay relatively low.

How to get a low mortgage rate

The majority of fixed and adjustable mortgage and refinance rates have dropped since last Friday, but they remain low overall. You might want to secure a low mortgage rate now. 

However, make sure you’re in good shape financially before applying for a mortgage or refinancing. There’s no need to hurry, as rates will probably stay low for several months. You have the chance to change your financial standing and get a better rate. 

  • Boost your credit scoreThe most important way to increase your credit score is to make timely payments. You may also think about paying off debts or letting your credit age. 
  • Save more for a down paymentThe smallest amount of money needed for your down payment will depend on which type of mortgage you are after. The higher a down payment you can make, the better chance your lender will give you an improved interest rate.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. To better your ratio, pay down debts or seek opportunities to improve your income.
  • Pick a government-backed mortgage. If you’re qualified, you might consider a USDA loan (for low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (aimed at military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). Government-backed mortgages commonly come with better interest rates than conventional mortgages. As a bonus, down payments aren’t required for USDA or VA loans.

Provided you are financially stable, today may be a good day to secure a low rate.

How 15-year fixed mortgages work

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you 15 years to pay down your mortgage, and your interest rate will remain the same the whole period. 

You’ll cough up higher monthly payments with a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage because you’ll pay off the same loan principal over fewer years. 

However, it will be less expensive to take out a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage. You’ll pay off the loan in half the time and you’ll get a better interest rate to boot.  

How 30-year fixed mortgages work

If you take out a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your loan over 30 years, and you’ll lock in your interest rate for the entire term. A 30-year term has a higher interest rate than a 15-year term.

You’ll fork over smaller monthly payments with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term because you’re splitting up your payments over a longer period.  

However, it will cost you more in interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term, as you’re paying a higher interest rate for longer. 

How ARMs work

An adjustable-rate mortgage, often called an ARM, will secure your rate for the first several years and then systematically alter it. A 10/1 ARM locks in your rate for a decade. Then, your rate will vary once per year. 

Though ARM rates are currently at all-time lows, a fixed-rate mortgage might still be the best deal you can get. You can secure a low rate for 15 or 30 years without having to anguish over your rate possibly increasing with an ARM. 

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

Provided you are financially stable, today may be a good day to secure a low rate.

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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 an editor 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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