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Higher rates are on the way

Get ahead of anticipated rate hikes in 2022 and lock in a new refinance rate now.

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Our weekly rates vs. the national average

 

Today's national mortgage rate trends

On Thursday, September 29, 2022, the current average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 6.82%, up 39 basis points since the same time last week. If you're in the market for a mortgage refinance, the average 30-year fixed refinance rate is 6.83%, increasing 41 basis points since the same time last week. In addition, today's average 15-year fixed refinance rate is 6.01%, up 31 basis points from a week ago. Whether buying or refinancing, Bankrate often has access to offers well below the national average, displaying the rate, APR (rate plus costs) and estimated monthly payment to help you compare deals and finance your home for less. With rates on the rise, it’s more important than ever to shop around for mortgage offers before committing to a loan.

Mortgage industry insights

Lock today: 30-year fixed rate surpasses 6 percent

After a summer of ups and downs, the benchmark fixed rate on 30-year mortgages topped 6 percent in September, its highest level since November 2008, according to Bankrate’s national survey of large lenders.

“Mortgage rates are moving above 6 percent as the Fed’s message of ‘higher rates for longer’ is sinking in,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

After rapidly rising in the early months of 2022, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate started to waver in June, approaching 6 percent, then settling into the 5s. Federal Reserve policy doesn’t directly impact rates on fixed mortgages, but for a time, the central bank’s moves reduced 10-year Treasury yields, which do drive fixed mortgage movement.

The Fed’s actions affect adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and home equity products, however. Each time the central bank raises its key rate, variable home loan rates move in tandem.

Throughout the summer, day-to-day rate swings made mortgage-shopping tough for borrowers, and the overall uptrend has been weighing on home sales. As of August, sales have come in lower seven months in a row, the National Association of Realtors reports.

For September and beyond, analysts expect more rate volatility, with inflation one of many markers to watch. Learn what the experts predict in Bankrate’s forecast.

Whatever type of mortgage you’re looking for, in this environment, it’s more important than ever to compare rates before selecting a lender.

“Conducting an online search can save thousands of dollars by finding lenders offering a lower rate and more competitive fees,” says McBride.

Read more: This week’s latest mortgage news

How to get a mortgage

Because a home is usually the biggest purchase a person makes, a mortgage is usually a household’s largest chunk of debt. Getting the best possible terms on your loan can mean a difference of hundreds of extra dollars in or out of your budget each month, and tens of thousands of dollars in or out of your pocket over the life of the loan. It's 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. Make a budget
  3. Set savings aside for both down payment and expected monthly payments
  4. Research the best type of mortgage for you
  5. Compare current mortgage rates
  6. Choose the right lender
  7. Get preapproved
  8. See multiple houses within your budget
  9. Apply and get approved for a mortgage
  10. Close on your new house

>> Read more: How to get a mortgage guide

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. Comparison-shopping on Bankrate is especially smart, because our relationships with lenders can help you get special low rates.

What factors determine my mortgage rate?

Lenders consider these factors when pricing your interest rate:

  • Credit score
  • Down payment
  • Property location
  • Loan amount/closing costs
  • Loan type
  • Loan term
  • Interest rate type

Your credit score is the most important driver of your mortgage rate. Lenders have settled on this three-digit score as the most reliable predictor of whether you’ll make prompt payments. The higher your score, the less risk you pose in the lender’s view — and the lower rate you’ll pay.

Lenders also consider how much you’re putting down. The greater share of the home’s total value you pay upfront, the more favorably they view your application. The kind of mortgage you choose can affect your rate, too, with shorter-term loans like 15-year mortgages typically having lower rates compared to 30-year ones.

FAQs about mortgage interest rates

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 — most experts say the ideal breakeven timeline is 18 to 24 months.

As mortgage rates rise, fewer homeowners will stand to benefit from refinancing, but even at their current level, millions of borrowers could still save.

Reducing your rate isn’t the only reason to refinance. It’s also possible to tap your home equity to pay for home renovation, or, if you want to pay down your mortgage more quickly, you can shorten your term to 20, 15 or even 10 years. Because home values have risen sharply in the last few years, it’s also possible that a refinance could free you from paying for private mortgage insurance.

>> Compare refinance rates

>> Read more: Information on mortgage refinancing

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