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Today's Mortgage Refinance Rates

Matt Frankel, CFP®
By: The Ascent Staff and Matt Frankel, CFP®

Our Mortgages Experts

Nathan Alderman
Check IconFact Checked Nathan Alderman

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

As a homeowner, there are a few scenarios where refinancing a home loan can make sense. Chief among them is to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage and make your home more affordable. Other common reasons for refinancing are to change your loan terms or to use a cash-out refinance to take equity out of your home. Here's what today's mortgage refinance rates look like.

How to get the best refinancing mortgage rate

These four steps can be the best tools to get you a good deal on a refinancing mortgage:

  • Shop around: Fill out applications with at least a few different lenders. It won't hurt your credit score to rate shop, and you might be surprised at the different rates you'll get from different lenders.
  • Pay discount points: Discount points are an upfront fee paid to a lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. In many cases, paying discount points can lower your rate enough to offset the cost, and you can compare loan APRs (annual percentage rates) to see if it does.
  • Improve your credit score: It isn't uncommon for lenders to have a 1% difference in interest rates for top-tier borrowers and those who simply have fair or good credit. Taking steps to boost your credit score before applying to refinance can be one of the best ways to lower your interest rate.
  • Don't tap into your equity: Lenders typically have higher interest rates on cash-out refinancing loans than on simple rate-and-term refinancing loans. So, if you can avoid cashing out some of your equity, you'll probably get a better interest rate.

The most influential factor in your refinancing mortgage rate is the current interest rate climate. For example, the average 30-year mortgage rate increased from about 3% at the beginning of 2022 to about 7%, as of March 2024. Even if you have perfect credit and take other prudent steps to get the best rate, your refinancing rates will be significantly higher than they were a few years ago.

How to compare refinancing mortgage rates between lenders

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when refinancing is simply obtaining one rate quote and accepting it if it sounds reasonable. Let's be clear: by doing this, you could end up paying thousands of dollars more in interest than you need to.

So, at a bare minimum, you should obtain two or three definitive rate quotes. Here are the basic steps:

  • First, make a short list of refinancing lenders that meet your needs. Make sure they offer the loan product you want, but also ensure their services, fees, etc. all align with what you're looking for. Our best refinancing lenders list can help you do this.
  • Next, fill out an application to check your personalized rates. Some lenders will give you a personalized rate quote with a short form and a soft credit check, while others will need more information and a full credit pull. But it's important to get a rate quote for you -- don't just look at a list of the lender's "current mortgage rates" on its website. There is no guarantee you'll get those.
  • Compare the refinancing rates and fees you're offered. Using the annual percentage rate (APR) instead of the loan's interest rate can help you compare the true cost of refinancing. Once you've found the best offer from a lender that meets your needs, it's time to finalize your application.

It's also worth noting that you shouldn't worry about multiple mortgage applications hurting your credit score. There's a special rule in the FICO credit scoring formula that counts any number of mortgage applications within a short period of time as just a single credit inquiry. This means that even if you apply with 10 different refinancing lenders, all of which conduct a hard credit pull, it would have the exact same impact on your credit score as if you had applied with just one.

Should I lock in my refinancing mortgage rate?

While a rate lock can be great protection from rising interest rates, it can also be a negative if rates fall before you're set to close. Unless your rate lock has a provision called a "float-down option," you can't change your rate to a lower one.

A rate lock is a feature that allows you to ensure that the rate you're approved for stays the same until you close on your loan. Lenders typically allow you to lock in your rate for 15 to 60 days, depending on the circumstances.

For example, let's say that you are approved for a 6.5% APR on a refinancing mortgage and that after the appraisal and other closing processes, it takes you three weeks until the loan is closed. What happens if during those three weeks, mortgage rates rise by 0.5%? A rate lock ensures that you'll still pay 6.5%.

To be sure, every situation is different. But especially in times (like 2024) when rates are widely expected to trend downward, it's important to know what happens if rates start to go down after approval.

How refinancing mortgage rates affect your mortgage payments

The obvious effect of your refinancing mortgage rate is that your monthly payment will be lower if your interest rate is lower. But there's more to refinancing.

Specifically, refinancing costs money. Just like when you get a mortgage to buy a home, there are closing costs involved with refinancing. And you need to make sure that the savings on your monthly mortgage payments make the costs of refinancing worthwhile. So, a lower mortgage rate can potentially make the difference between refinancing being worthwhile or not.

What is a mortgage rate?

The simple definition of a mortgage rate is the price you pay for borrowing money to buy or refinance a home.

There are two types of mortgage rates you should know about when applying to refinance your mortgage. First, the interest rate is simply the charge for borrowing money, expressed as an annual percentage of your outstanding balance. If you borrow $200,000 at a 5% interest rate, interest will initially accumulate at the rate of $10,000 per year.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, is the annual percentage rate (APR). This includes the interest you pay, plus certain upfront costs like lender fees. It is the better indicator of the complete cost of borrowing money.

The Ascent's best mortgage refinance lenders

Refinancing your mortgage could save you hundreds of dollars for your monthly mortgage payment and secure you tens of thousands of dollars in long-term savings. Our experts have reviewed the most popular mortgage refinance companies to find the best options. Some of our experts have even used these lenders themselves to cut their costs.


  • It's essential to shop around to find the best refinance rates. You may find that different lenders have offers that vary widely.

  • Yes. Homeowners can refinance as often as they'd like, but some lenders may have specific restrictions.

  • It depends. While there are ebbs and flows in refinancing rates throughout the year due to seasonality, it's best to shop around when the time is right for you.

Our Mortgages Experts