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Today's 15-Year Mortgage Rates

Kristi Waterworth
By: Kristi Waterworth

Our Mortgages Expert

Nathan Alderman
Check IconFact Checked Nathan Alderman

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If you're in the market for a home, and you'd like to pay off your mortgage quickly, you might be considering a 15-year mortgage. These loans offer home buyers low interest rates, predictable mortgage payments and shorter loan terms to pay off.

Compare the current 15-year mortgage rates from select mortgage lenders.

How to get the best 15-year mortgage rate

Many factors that determine your rate are out of your control, but there's one major factor you can control: your credit score. Some ways to boost your credit score include:

  • Consistent payment history: Paying your bills on time gives your credit score a massive boost.
  • Long credit history: The longer you keep an account open (and pay it off consistently), the better off you are when it comes to your credit score.
  • Low debt-to-credit ratio: If you're not maxing out your credit card, your credit score should see a boost.

Once you're ready to apply for a mortgage, it's time to shop around for the best mortgage rate possible. Every mortgage lender has different programs with different lending rates and fees attached, so don't be afraid to compare several before you choose a 15-year mortgage.

How to compare 15-year mortgage rates between lenders

When shopping for a 15-year mortgage, you have approximately 45 days from your first mortgage loan credit check to decide on a loan without it impacting your credit score. During this window, all the credit checks related to a mortgage loan will be grouped together on your credit report, essentially creating a single inquiry, rather than many small inquiries that could collectively do serious damage to your credit.

When you're looking for rate options, you'll want to ask potential lenders for a Loan Estimate form, which will show you all the fees and other terms associated with your future mortgage. By using the same form across the industry, it allows you to very easily compare loans against one another.

Until you have a home under contract, your loan estimate is only a general guideline, since some items like taxes and insurance can only be estimated based on your loan approval price and your local market's general costs for these and other items that change based on a specific property.

Should I lock in my 15-year mortgage rate?

Whether to lock in your 15-year mortgage rate depends on several factors. For example, if you're confident you can find a house during your lock-in period, and rates are trending upward, it may be a smart choice to lock in a low rate. But if you're not sure you can find a home quickly, and rates are headed down, you may be better off without a rate lock.

Ultimately, deciding to lock your mortgage rate is something only you can do for yourself, based on your own specific situation and finances.

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What happens if you lock your rate, then your financial situation changes?

Changes in your loan amount, your credit score, or your verifiable income can automatically change your interest rate. Ask your lender under what conditions your lock no longer applies before committing.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out when the time is right.

  • Are interest rates going up or down?
  • What does it cost to lock my rate?
  • Can I close my home within the lock period?

Keep reading, we'll answer these questions below.

Are interest rates going up or down?

Interest rates are always in flux, but sometimes they're changing so little that it doesn't really matter if you lock or you don't because they'll be very similar on the day of closing to what they were the day you started looking for homes.

However, if interest rates have been changing a lot and are going higher, locking sooner generally makes the best financial sense. In the reverse situation, if you wait to lock as long as you can in an environment where rates are dropping, you'll save a lot of money over the longer run.

What does it cost to lock my rate?

Although you may not be charged to lock your rate initially, there is almost always an associated fee to extend that lock, but you should ask about both so you can decide if you really want to use this lender. When applicable, lock fees may be up to about 0.5% of your loan amount and extensions could cost up to 0.375% of your loan amount, which can really add up.

Can I close my home within the lock period?

Loan rate locks typically last from 30 to 60 days, which can make it challenging to find a home if you lock your rate before you have one under contract. Even with a home under contract, this can be a tight squeeze, depending on the length of the lock.

Although your rate will continue to change without locking the rate, if you lock the rate and aren't able to close your home before the rate lock expires, it can be costly to get an extension.

How 15-year mortgage rates affect your mortgage payments

The interest rate you pay on a 15-year mortgage can make a big difference in how much your mortgage payments are. Choosing a 15-year term vs. a 30-year term means you're paying more principal each month by default. So, the higher your interest rate on a 15-year mortgage, the more you amplify that payment further.

What is a mortgage rate?

A mortgage rate is the amount of interest you will pay to borrow money specifically for a home or other real estate purchase secured with a mortgage. Generally, mortgage rates have very low interest rates for the environment in which you borrow them, since a mortgage is secured by real estate, making them a low-risk product for the bank.

Many mortgage rates are fixed, meaning they remain the same rate throughout the life of the loan, and others are adjustable, with the terms of that adjustment spelled out before you agree to the loan.

The Ascent's best mortgage lenders

If you want to uncover more about the best mortgage lenders for low rates and fees, our experts have created a shortlist of the top mortgage companies. Some of our experts have even used these lenders themselves to cut their costs.


  • A 15-year mortgage is a fixed-rate loan amortized over 15 years.

  • To find the best rates, shop around to get quotes from multiple mortgage lenders.

    Lenders offer their best rates to borrowers with excellent credit who meet the down payment and debt-to-income requirements. If you find that you are offered rates higher than advertised rates, talk to the lender about what you can do to get a lower rate.

  • A 15-year home loan may be a good option if you want to become debt free as soon as possible. It's also a great way to save on overall interest charges, because you pay far less interest on a 15-year mortgage than you would on a 30-year mortgage. You do not have to double the payment to cut the loan term in half.

Our Mortgages Experts