federal reserve

Cut your own rates

Contrary to widespread perception, changes to the federal funds rate do not have a direct impact on mortgage rates. So it's a mistake to use federal funds rate decisions as a gauge for the likely direction of mortgage rates.

The best way to cut your mortgage rate is to refinance your mortgage. Although rates have increased in recent weeks, they remain low by historical standards.

If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage and it is about to adjust soon, you typically can lower your monthly payment by making an extra principal payment before your mortgage is recalculated. Talk to your lender about this option.

You can compare mortgage rates using Bankrate's search tool.

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