Current Refinance Rates, October 19, 2020 | Rate moves lower

Daily Refinance blog

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Mortgage refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate receded.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate refinance was down, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed rose. Meanwhile, the average rate on 10-year fixed refis were flat.

Rates for refinancing change daily, but, overall, they are very low by historical standards. If you’re in the market to refinance, it may make sense to lock if you see a rate you like.

See refinance rates for a variety of loan options here.

30-year fixed refinance

The average 30-year fixed-refinance rate is 3.16 percent, down 2 basis points over the last week. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed refinance was lower, at 2.97 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay $430.28 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $1.09 lower, compared with last week.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to figure out your monthly payments and see what the effects of making extra payments would be. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

15-year fixed refinance

The 15-year fixed refi average rate is now 2.62 percent, up 3 basis points over the last week.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed refinance at that rate will cost around $670 per $100,000 borrowed. That may put more pressure on your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more quickly.

10-year fixed refinance

The average rate for a 10-year fixed-refinance loan is 2.63 percent, unchanged since the same time last week.

Monthly payments on a 10-year fixed-rate refi at 2.63 percent would cost $948.62 per month for every $100,000 you borrow. As you can see, the substantial savings in interest costs you’ll reap with that short 10-year term comes with the downside of a much larger monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our Rate Trend Index.

Want to see where rates are right now? Lenders nationwide respond to Bankrate’s weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a wide variety of purchase loans:

Average refinance interest rates
Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed refi 3.16% 3.18% -0.02
15-year fixed refi 2.62% 2.59% +0.03
10-year fixed refi 2.63% 2.63% N/C

Rates as of October 16, 2020.

Want to see where rates are right now? See refinance rates for a variety of loan options here.

Lock your refi rate? How to decide

When you lock in a refinance rate, you freeze the rate your lender offers you for a specific period of time. A rate lock will secure that rate between the time you apply for the refinance and when you close on it.

Why do refinance rates rise and fall?

Economic factors such as inflation and unemployment can impact refinance rates. Generally, higher inflation leads to higher interest rates. The opposite is true; lower inflation typically leads to lower refinance rates. The dollar loses value when inflation rises. That, in turn, drives investors away from mortgage-backed securities (MBS), causing the prices to decrease and yields to increase. When yields move higher, refinance rates get more expensive.

A strong economy usually means more people buying homes, which drives demand for mortgages. This increased demand can push rates higher. The opposite is also true; less demand can trigger a drop in rates.

Current refinance rate landscape

Refinance rates have been volatile since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the U.S. economy, but overall they have been very low. Mortgage rates are rising and falling from week to week, as lenders are inundated with forbearance and refinance requests. In general, however, rates are consistently below 4 percent and even dipping into the mid to low 3s. This is an especially good time for people with good to excellent credit to lock in a low rate for a purchase loan. However, lenders are also raising credit standards for borrowers and demanding higher down payments as they try to dampen their risks.

Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.

To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s Rate Averages.”

News articles about other loan terms:

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