North Carolina Mortgage and Refinance Rates
On Thursday, March 30, 2023, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage APR is 6.89%. The national average 30-year fixed refinance APR is 7.00%, according to Bankrate's latest survey of the nation's largest mortgage lenders.
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North Carolina mortgage overview
As of Thursday, March 30, 2023, current interest rates in North Carolina are 6.87% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.05% for a 15-year fixed mortgage. If you want to call North Carolina home, you have several mortgage options and potentially access to first-time homebuyer assistance programs that can make the homebuying process easier and more affordable.
North Carolina conventional mortgages: To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you generally must meet the following requirements.
- Credit score of at least 620
- Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 43 percent
- Down payment of at least 3 percent of the loan amount
- Pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if down payment is less than 20 percent
North Carolina FHA loans: If you don’t meet conventional loan requirements, you may qualify for an FHA loan. These are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and the requirements include:
- Credit score of at least 500
- 10 percent down payment if credit score is between 500-579
- 3.5 percent down payment if credit score is 580 or higher
North Carolina VA loans: Guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are offered to qualifying veterans and active duty members of the armed forces. VA loans don’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, and can be obtained through a VA-approved lender.
Top 5 Bankrate mortgage lenders in North Carolina
- Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
- Ally Bank
- Sage Mortgage
- First Mortgage Direct
- Cardinal Financial
Bankrate helps thousands of borrowers find mortgage and refinance lenders every day. To determine the top mortgage lenders, we analyzed proprietary data across more than 150 lenders to assess which on our platform received the most inquiries within a three-month period. We then assigned superlatives based on factors such as fees, products offered, convenience and other criteria. These top lenders are updated regularly.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is one of the top mortgage lenders in the U.S. in terms of loan volume. The lender’s loan products are available to borrowers nationwide, and it has branch locations in 48 states (not Alaska or West Virginia) and Washington, D.C. Its loan options include conventional and government loans, refinancing and physician loans for doctors and other medical professionals.
- Available in all states with more than 700 branch and satellite locations
- Extensive learning resources for borrowers, including Home.com
- Streamlined electronic submission of loan documents
- Doesn’t offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Specific rates not posted online
Read Bankrate's Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation review.
Ally Bank provides several mortgage options, including conventional loans, jumbo loans and adjustable-rate loans in five- seven- or 10-year terms. Ally Bank also offers refinancing options, including rate-and-term and cash-out, but doesn't offer FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans or home equity loan options. With Ally, borrowers can complete their application online, but everything is finalized in-person. Once preapproved, you'll upload, sign and submit documents online, and lock in your rate. Customer support is available by text, phone or email throughout the process for personalized guidance along the way.
- Preapproval in as little as three minutes and closings up to 10 days faster than industry average
- Transparent interest rates online
- No FHA, VA or USDA loans
- No home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans
- No branch locations
Read Bankrate's Ally Bank mortgage review.
Sage Mortgage is an online mortgage company that both underwrites loans and works with multiple wholesale lenders. The broker was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina. To connect with Sage, you can submit your information through Bankrate, an affiliate company, or visit the company directly online to start an application. From there, you’ll be assigned a dedicated loan officer.
- Works with multiple wholesalers to offer competitive rates and fast cycle times
- Dedicated loan officer works with borrowers throughout the entire process
- Most mortgages close in less than 30 days
- Doesn’t offer VA loans
- Doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
Read Bankrate's Sage Mortgage review.
First Mortgage Direct
First Mortgage Direct is the online lending division of First Mortgage Solutions, a brick-and-mortar lender based in Kansas City, Missouri. Notably, the lender doesn’t charge origination fees or other hidden costs, nor participate in any gimmicky specials or limited-time offers. Typically, qualified borrowers can obtain a preapproval within 48 hours, and purchase loans generally close within 30 days (refinances within 60).
- Borrowers assigned readily available loan officer to work with via phone or email
- No origination or hidden fees
- Loans for purchases, first-time homebuyers and refinancing
- Not available in every state
- Limited call center hours for general inquiries
Read Bankrate's First Mortgage Direct review.
Cardinal Financial, also doing business as Sebonic Financial, is a national mortgage lender. It offers conventional loans, jumbo loans, refinancing and government-sponsored FHA, USDA and VA loans, and provides mortgages in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Along with these products, the lender offers disaster relief home financing, construction loans, manufactured home loans and tiny and container home loans.
- Offers prequalification and preapproval
- Provides special loans like disaster relief home financing, construction loans, manufactured home loans, tiny home loans and container home loans
- Works with affordable housing, first-time homebuyer and down payment assistance programs nationwide
- Doesn’t offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans
- Limited information online regarding fees and interest rates
Read Bankrate's Cardinal Financial mortgage review.
First-time homebuyer programs in North Carolina
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers options to help first-time homebuyers find low-interest mortgages and no-interest down payment assistance loans.
NC Home Advantage Mortgage
With an NC Home Advantage Mortgage, offered through the NCHFA, borrowers can get a fixed-rate mortgage coupled with down payment assistance up to 5 percent of the loan principal. This is available to both first-time and repeat homebuyers. To qualify:
- Your annual income must be $126,000 or less
- Your credit score must be 640 or higher
- You must be a legal resident of the U.S. and buying a home in North Carolina
- You must occupy the home as your primary residence within 60 days of closing
- You are applying for a qualifying mortgage through a participating lender
The NC Home Advantage Mortgage is available for single-family homes, condos, duplexes and townhouses, as well as new manufactured homes if your credit score is 660 or higher.
NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment
For NC Home Advantage Mortgage borrowers, the NCHFA also offers the 1st Home Advantage Down Payment program, which is specifically for first-time homebuyers (defined as those who haven’t owned a home in the past three years) and military veterans.
Through this program, borrowers can get up to $8,000 to assist with the down payment in the form of a deferred, zero-percent second mortgage. The second mortgage is forgiven in 20 percent increments between years 11 and 15 of the loan term, and completely forgiven at the end of year 15.
NC Home Advantage Tax Credit
The NC Home Advantage Tax Credit allows first-time homebuyers and military veterans to claim a federal tax credit for the interest on their mortgage through a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). The credit is equal to 30 percent of the interest paid yearly for an existing home, or 50 percent of the interest paid yearly for a new-construction home. Borrowers can claim credits up to $2,000 per year through the program.
To claim this credit, borrowers must apply for the MCC through the NCHFA before buying their home.
North Carolina mortgage refinancing
North Carolina borrowers who saw their home equity jump during the hot housing market earlier in the pandemic may be interested in refinancing their mortgage as a way to tap those funds. Use Bankrate’s guide to cash-out refinancing to learn more.