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Urgent! Rates predicted to rise

Rates are expected to jump following the next Fed meeting. Get a low rate before time runs out!

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Bankrate's lowest rates for Oct. 21, 2021

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Mortgage industry insights

Last call for super-low mortgage rates?

At its latest meeting, the Federal Reserve signaled that it's about to cut the amount of bonds it buys each month, and that it also could begin to raise interest rates as early as next year.

The mortgage market interpreted that news as the beginning of the end of super-cheap mortgage rates. In the week after the Fed’s Sept. 22 meeting, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage jumped 12 basis points, to 3.17 percent, according to Bankrate’s national survey of lenders.

Will this latest run-up in rates last? No one knows that answer for certain. But housing economists and market watchers generally agree that a variety of factors -- including inflation, the economic recovery and the Fed’s pace of bond buying -- are lining up to nudge rates higher.

For the millions of homeowners who have yet to lock in historically low interest rates by refinancing, that money-saving opportunity soon might fade away.

“It’s more likely that rates will go up than down,” says Isaac Hacamo, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “If you haven’t refinanced in the past few years, I would do it now.”

>>Read more about how mortgage rates could rise & what to do now

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    How to get a mortgage

    It is important to prepare for the mortgage application process to ensure you get the best rate and monthly payments within your budget.

    Here are quick steps to prepare for a mortgage:

    1. Build your credit
    2. Set a limit on what you can afford
    3. Set savings aside for both down payment and expected monthly payments
    4. Research the best type of mortgage for you
    5. Get preapproved
    6. See multiple houses within your budget
    7. Apply for a mortgage loan
    8. Get approved!
    9. Close on your new house

    >>Read more about the mortgage process in our how to get a mortgage guide

    You should also make sure you are ready to be a home-buyer. While it is advantageous to get a mortgage when rates are low, first ensure that it makes sense for your budget and long term financial goals. Rates will also vary by lender and other factors such as down payment and credit score.

    >>Read more about buying a house in 2021.

    Mortgage process FAQs

     

    Why compare mortgage rates?

    Shopping around for quotes from multiple lenders is one of Bankrate’s most crucial pieces of advice for every mortgage applicant. When you shop, it’s important to think about not just the interest rate you’re being quoted, but also all the other terms of the loan. Be sure to compare APRs, which include many additional costs of the mortgage not shown in the interest rate. Keep in mind that some institutions may have lower closing costs than others, or your current bank may extend you a special offer. There’s always some variability between lenders on both rates and terms, so make sure you understand the full picture of each offer, and think about what will suit your situation best.

     

    General mortgage FAQs

     

    Looking to refinance?

    Refinancing your mortgage can be a good financial move if you lock in a lower rate. However, there are upfront costs associated with refinancing, such as appraisals, underwriting fees and taxes, so you’ll want to be sure the savings outpace the refinance price tag in a reasonable amount of time, say 18 to 24 months.

    While mortgage rates have risen from the record lows of late 2020 and early 2021, they remain at historically low levels. That means millions of homeowners still could save by refinancing. Reducing your rate isn’t the only reason to refinance. It’s also possible to tap into your home equity to pay for home renovations. Or, if you want to pay down your mortgage more quickly, you can shorten your term to 20, 15 or even 10 years. And because home values have risen sharply, it’s possible that a refinance could free you from paying for private mortgage insurance.

    >>Find and compare refinance rates

    >>For more information on mortgage refinancing, visit Bankrate’s mortgage refinancing hub.

    Written by: Jeff Ostrowski, senior mortgage reporter for Bankrate

    Jeff Ostrowski covers mortgages and the housing market. Before joining Bankrate in 2020, he wrote about real estate and the economy for the Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Business Journal.

    Read more from Jeff Ostrowski

    Reviewed by: Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate

    Greg McBride, CFA, is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Analyst, for Bankrate.com. He leads a team responsible for researching financial products, providing analysis, and advice on personal finance to a vast consumer audience.

    Read more from Greg McBride


     

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