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Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: May 4, 2021 | Rates increase

Summary List PlacementMortgage and refinance rates have gone up since last Tuesday but down since this time last month. Even though rates have increased today, they've been trending downward overall. Rates are at historic lows, so it could be a good day to apply for preapproval so you can lock in...

Summary List Placement

Mortgage and refinance rates have gone up since last Tuesday but down since this time last month.

Even though rates have increased today, they’ve been trending downward overall. Rates are at historic lows, so it could be a good day to apply for preapproval so you can lock in a rate.

You’ll probably be able to get a low rate even if you wait a few months to apply for preapproval, though. The Federal Reserve met last week and agreed to keep the federal funds rate at near zero, which indicates mortgage rates should stay low for the foreseeable future.

Today’s mortgage rates: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today
15-year fixed 2.48%
30-year fixed 3.35%
7/1 ARM 4.31%
10/1 ARM 4.0%
30-year FHA 2.94%
VA mortgage loan 2.75%

Conventional rates from Money.com; government-backed rates from RedVentures.

Learn more and get offers from multiple lenders »

Mortgage rates are low across the board. For a 30-year term, you’ll get a better rate on an FHA and VA mortgage than on a conventional mortgage. Government-backed mortgages are great options if you qualify.

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Today’s refinance rates: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today
15-year fixed 2.67%
30-year fixed 3.71%
7/1 ARM 4.49%
10/1 ARM 4.74%
30-year FHA 2.90%
VA mortgage loan 2.75%

Conventional rates from Money.com; government-backed rates from RedVentures.

Compare offers from refinancing lenders »

Refinance rates are typically higher than purchase mortgage rates. But today’s refinance rates are low overall.

Ways to get a low mortgage rate

Although mortgage rates have ticked up since last week, in general, rates are low. You may want to lock in a low rate today. 

You probably don’t need to rush if you’re not prepared to buy or refinance yet, as mortgage rates will likely remain low for at least a few months. You could use that time to better your financial situation and land a lower rate. Think about the following tips:

  • Boost your credit score by making timely payments or paying down debt. You can ask for a copy of your credit report to search for any mistakes that could be lowering your score.
  • Put down more for a down payment.You may be able to put down as little as 3% if you’re aiming for a conventional mortgage, but the smallest amount will depend on which type of mortgage you want. You’ll probably receive a better rate with a larger down payment.
  • Decrease your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. To improve your ratio, pay down debts or look for ways to boost your income.

You can lock in a low rate now if your finances are in good shape.

Mortgage and refinance rates trends

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.48% 2.44% 2.65%
30-year fixed 3.35% 3.31% 3.63%
7/1 ARM 4.31% 4.05% 4.43%
10/1 ARM 4.0% 3.85% 4.73%

Mortgage rates have increased since last Tuesday, but they’ve decreased since this time last month.

Refinance rate trends

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.67% 2.65% 2.97%
30-year fixed 3.71% 3.64% 3.92%
7/1 ARM 4.49% 4.46% 4.82%
10/1 ARM 4.74% 4.51% 5.09%

Refinance rates have gone up a little since last Tuesday. Refinance rates are down since April 4, though.

15-year fixed rates

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you 15 years to pay off your loan, and you’ll have the same interest rate the whole time.

A 15-year fixed mortgage will cost less than a 30-year fixed mortgage. You’ll pay off the mortgage in less time, and you’ll receive a better interest.

On the other hand, your monthly payments will be higher with a 15-year term than a longer term because you’re paying down the same mortgage principal in fewer years.

30-year fixed rates

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your mortgage over 30 years, and you’ll have a locked-in interest rate for the life of the loan. A 30-year term comes with a higher interest rate than a shorter term.

Your monthly payments will be smaller with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a 15-year fixed mortgage because you’re dividing up your payments over a longer period.  

However, you’ll pay more total interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term, as you’re paying a higher interest rate for more time.

Adjustable rates

An adjustable-rate mortgage, often called an ARM, will secure your rate for the first several years and then periodically alter it. A 7/1 ARM locks in your rate for seven years. Then, your rate will vary once per year. 

Though ARM rates are now at all-time lows, a fixed-rate mortgage might still be the best option. You can secure a low rate for 15 or 30 years without having to worry over your rate potentially increasing down the line 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.

Government home loans

We’re also displaying rates for FHA and VA mortgages, two kinds of government-backed mortgages.

Government home loans are backed by government agencies. The agency compensates the lender should you default on your mortgage. Because these mortgages are less risky than conventional mortgages, lenders have lower requirements for your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, or down payment. Lenders also offer lower interest rates on these mortgages.

Government-backed mortgages can be great deals if you qualify. Here are your options:

  • FHA mortgage: This type of loan isn’t limited to a certain type of person. But it’s particularly useful if your credit score isn’t good enough to qualify for a conventional mortgage.
  • VA mortgage: You may qualify if you’re an active military member or veteran.
  • USDA mortgage: You’ll be eligible if you live in a rural area and fall under a certain income limit.

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

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.

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.

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