The average rate for mortgage offers clicked on by Bankrate readers Friday was 5.07 percent, down 23 basis points from the previous week. Mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago or six months ago, so it remains important to shop around if you want to find a good deal for a new loan or a refinance.

Bankrate’s “clicked-on” rate reflects purchase mortgages and refinances with all terms, including 30-year and 15-year loans.

The best deals come with some fine print. For instance, to score the best combination of rate and costs, you’ll generally need a credit score of 740 or higher and a down payment of 20 percent or more. Many of the lowest rates posted on Bankrate.com also include purchasing discount points, a way of lowering the loan’s interest by paying a fee at closing —  basically “buying down” the rate.

Rates for mortgages change constantly, and they’ve recently retreated after topping 7 percent last November. Those ups and downs reflect the volatility of the mortgage market as the economy continues to grapple with slowing-but-still-significant inflation and a looming recession.

While it still might make sense to refinance your mortgage, the rationale has changed: Most refis now are being done by homeowners pulling out equity to pay for home renovations or repairs.

Lightbulb
Key takeaway
Be sure to get offers from at least three lenders — you can save thousands of dollars by comparison shopping.

Compare mortgage rates in your area now.

Average clicked on rate for purchase loans

The average rate clicked on by Bankrate readers for 30-year purchase mortgages was 5.31 percent on Thursday.

Average clicked on rate for refinance loans

The typical rate clicked on by Bankrate readers for 30-year refinances stood at 5.51 percent Thursday.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage payment calculator to estimate your monthly payments and see the effect of making extra payments. The tool can also help you determine how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

Compare refinance rates in your area now.