by Maurie Backman | June 30, 2020
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Now may be a good time to lock in a mortgage, and these are what rates look like.
Mortgage rates can change on a weekly, and even a daily basis, so if you're in the market for a new home, you should pay attention to how they're fluctuating. Mortgage rates are significantly lower today than they were last week, so it could pay to lock in sooner rather than later.
This is what today's rates look like:
|30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||3.37%||3.45%|
|20-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||3.20%||3.30%|
|15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||2.84%||2.98%|
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The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.37%, down from 3.60% last week. For a $200,000 mortgage, that means you're looking at a monthly payment of $1,442. This is the lowest rate the 30-year mortgage has averaged in weeks, so if your credit is strong, it pays to apply.
The average interest rate for a 20-year fixed mortgage is 3.20%. That's a nice decline from 3.42% last week. Based on today's rate, for a $200,000 mortgage, you're looking at a monthly payment of $1,688.
The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.84%, which is a substantially lower rate than what you'll pay for a 30-year or 20-year fixed mortgage. For a $200,000 mortgage, that rate gives you a monthly payment of $1,924. If you can swing that higher payment, you'll save a lot on interest in the course of your repayment period compared to a 20- or 30-year loan.
The average interest rate for a 5/1 ARM is 2.88%. By comparison, last week, it was 3.23%, so this is a pretty competitive rate you're looking at. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, the first number (in this case, 5) represents the number of years your initial interest rate is guaranteed, and the second number (1) represents the frequency at which your rate adjusts. Locking in a rate of under 3% for the next five years could really pay off. Just be aware that your rate may adjust upward after that five-year period is up.
A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a specific rate for a preset period of time -- usually 30 days, but you may be able to lock in your rate for up to 60 days. You'll generally pay a fee for a mortgage rate lock, but in exchange, you're protected in the event that there's a substantial jump in rates between now and your loan closing date.
If you plan to close on your home within the next month, then it could pay to lock in your rate based on how today's numbers look, and also based on recent rate fluctuations. Today's rates are actually quite competitive across the board, so no matter what loan term you're interested in, you have a chance to lock in a good deal.
However, if your closing is more than a month away, you may want to choose a floating rate lock instead for what will generally be a higher fee, but a potentially worthwhile one. A floating rate lock allows you to snag a lower rate on your mortgage if rates fall prior to your closing, and given the way rates have moved in recent weeks, there's a chance they could go lower in time.
No matter what decision you make, aim to get offers from different mortgage lenders to increase your chances of securing the most favorable rate. Each lender sets its own requirements with regard to factors like your credit score, and so it pays to get offers you can compare.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
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