Washington, DC Mortgage and Refinance Rates
Current mortgage rates in Washington, D.C.
As of Thursday, December 7, 2023, current mortgage interest rates in Washington, DC are 7.47% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.63% for a 15-year fixed mortgage.
Rates are much higher today than they have been in recent years, now closer aligned with historical norms. Despite some home price softening, a higher rate could cut into what you’d be able to afford in Washington, D.C. Before you buy or refinance, know your options and compare at least three mortgage offers.
Refinance rates in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., borrowers who saw their home equity rise during the pandemic may be interested in refinancing their mortgage as a way to tap those funds. Check out Bankrate’s guide to cash-out refinancing to learn more.
How to find the best mortgage rate in Washington, D.C. for you
When shopping for a mortgage, compare at least three loan offers — research shows this exercise can save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. Bankrate can help you find the best mortgage deal. Here are some basic steps to securing a loan on favorable terms:
Step 1: Strengthen your credit score
Long before you start looking for a mortgage lender or applying for a loan, give your finances a checkup, and improve your standing if needed. This means pulling your credit score and credit reports. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three main reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), which you can get through AnnualCreditReport.com.
Step 2: Determine your budget
To find the right mortgage, you’ll need a good handle on how much house you can afford. That’s because a lender could qualify you for more mortgage than you need, or one that would max out your budget and leave no room for unexpected expenses.
Step 3: Know your mortgage options
There are a few different types of mortgages. Many lenders offer conventional loans that require as little as 3 percent down. FHA loans also have a low down payment threshold, while VA loans (for veterans) and USDA loans (for borrowers in rural areas) have no down payment requirement. If you’re in the market for a jumbo loan, check Washington, D.C.’s conforming loan limit.
Step 4: Compare rates and terms from several lenders
Don’t settle on the first lender you talk to — rate-shop with at least three different banks or mortgage companies. You can look to your bank or other banks, credit unions, online lenders and local independents to ensure you’re getting the best deal on rates, fees and terms.
Step 5: Get preapproved for a mortgage
As you comparison-shop, keep in mind that getting a mortgage preapproval is the only way to get accurate loan pricing for your specific situation.
Mortgage options in Washington, D.C.
If you’re looking to get a mortgage in Washington, D.C., there are several options you could potentially qualify for:
- Washington, D.C. conventional mortgages: To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio no more than 43 percent. If you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, as well.
- Washington, D.C. FHA loans: If your credit history disqualifies you from a conventional mortgage, you might be able to obtain a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). If you have a down payment of at least 3.5 percent, you could qualify for this type of loan with a credit score as low as 580.
- Washington, D.C. VA loans: If you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the military, you might qualify for a mortgage backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A VA loan doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, but you do need to pay a funding fee, which starts at 2.15 percent for homebuyers.
First-time homebuyer programs in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., qualifying homebuyers have access to a variety of assistance programs, including:
Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP)
District government employees looking to buy their first home could qualify for the Employer-Assisted Housing Program, a deferred, zero-percent interest loan and matching funds grant. For this program, “first-time homebuyer” means that the individual hasn’t owned a primary residence in the area for the past three years.