Mortgage refinance rates were mixed today, May 6th, but the popular 30-year refinance rate sunk lower, according to data compiled by Bankrate.
- 30-year fixed refinance rate: 5.40%, –0.02 vs. a week ago
- 15-year fixed refinance rate: 4.74%, +0.04 vs. a week ago
- 10-year fixed refinance rate: 4.67%, +0.01 vs. a week ago
Here’s a pro tip: Getting multiple offers can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. “The extra effort of comparison shopping among lenders and putting in an extra application or two can pay dividends for years with a lower rate and savings on fees,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.
30-year fixed refinance
The average 30-year fixed-refinance rate is 5.40 percent, down 2 basis points compared with a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed refinance was lower, at 5.06 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay $554.06 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $7.47 lower, compared with last week.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to figure out your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year fixed refinance
The average for a 15-year refi is currently running at 4.74 percent, up 4 basis points over the last week.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed refinance at that rate will cost around $517 per $100,000 borrowed. Yes, that payment is much bigger than it would be on a 30-year mortgage, 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 faster.
10-year fixed refinance
The average rate for a 10-year fixed-refinance loan is 4.67 percent, up 1 basis point over the last seven days.
Monthly payments on a 10-year fixed-rate refi at 4.67 percent would cost $510.26 per month for every $100,000 you borrow. If you can manage that substantial monthly payment, you’ll enjoy even more interest cost savings than you would with a 15-year term.
Where are refinance rates headed?
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, rates have been hovering around historic lows. But now rates are increasing as the Federal Reserve acts to contain inflation. Most experts predict rates will increase through 2022.
“Mortgage rates continue to surge, as they have since the beginning of the year, as the outlook takes shape for Fed rate hikes that are sooner and faster than previously expected,” McBride says. “Mortgage rates are still well below 4 percent but in an environment of already sky-high home prices, more would-be homebuyers are priced out with each move higher in mortgage rates.”
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? See local mortgage rates.
|30-year fixed refi||5.40%||0.02||5.42%|
|15-year fixed refi||4.74%||0.04||4.70%|
|10-year fixed refi||4.67%||0.01||4.66%|
What is a mortgage refinance?
Refinancing your mortgage means taking out a new home loan. In the process, you’ll fully pay off your existing loan, and then start payments on a new one. The two most popular kinds of mortgage refinances are rate-and-term changes — which result in a new interest rate and a reset payment clock — and cash-out refinances. The latter allow homeowners to take advantage of their home equity by taking out a new mortgage with a larger principal based on the home’s current value.
30-year refi? 15-year refi? Cash-out refi? What is right for me?
No matter what kind of refinance you decide to undertake, once you close on your new loan, the payment clock goes back to zero. So, for example, if you take out a new 30-year mortgage, you’ll have another 30 years of payments ahead of you.
That said, a 30-year refi is the right choice for many people. Extending the term of your loan means lower monthly payments, which can help if you have a tight budget.
A 15-year mortgage refinance has some advantages, too, namely that you pay a lot less interest over the life of the loan. Because 15-year loans tend to have lower interest rates than their 30-year counterparts and a shorter repayment window, the overall savings can be significant. Keep in mind, though, that a short repayment window is a double-edged sword. It does help you save in the long run, but with less time to pay, 15-year mortgages have higher monthly payments.
Here are sample payments on a $300,000 mortgage at 3 percent interest:
|Term||Monthly payment||Total cost|
A new mortgage can also help you tap your home equity if you choose a cash-out option. If you have enough equity in your home, you can apply for a new mortgage with a larger principal balance and take the difference from what you owe on your old loan in cash. Doing this can allow you to finance other spending at a low rate compared with other forms of borrowing. Some of the most common uses for cash-out funds are home improvements, debt consolidation or education financing.
What will a refinance cost?
Refinance costs can change based on where you’re located, the lender you’re working with and a number of other factors. The general guidance, however, is that costs are around 2 to 5 percent of the loan’s principal amount. On a $300,000 mortgage, that means $6,000 to $15,000 in closing costs.
Can I save money with a refinance? Is now a good time to refi?
Yes, depending on your situation. Especially with mortgage rates around historic lows, it’s a great time to refinance. If you have a loan that you’ve been holding since before 2020, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to refinance to a lower-cost loan. That can mean significant savings month to month and overall, so it’s worth exploring.
Keep in mind, however, you’ll want to calculate your break-even timeline. If you’re planning to move soon, you may not save enough to recoup your closing costs before you do.
How to shop for a mortgage
Shopping around and comparing offers is critical to get the best deal on your mortgage refinance. Make sure to get quotes from at least three lenders, and pay attention not just to the interest rate but also to the fees they charge and other terms. Sometimes it’s a better deal to choose a slightly higher interest loan if the other aspects are favorable.
Steps to get the best mortgage rate
- Shop around
- Do your homework to understand the mortgage market in your area
- Consider working with a mortgage broker
- Don’t try to time the market — rates change nearly constantly, and you could lose out on a good deal if you wait
Minimum credit scores for different kinds of mortgages
Different mortgages have different minimum requirements for their borrowers. Although lenders are able to adjust these requirements as they please, here are the most common credit score minimums for different types of mortgages:
- Conforming: 620
- Jumbo: 700
- FHA: 580 (or 500 if you have at least a 10 percent down payment)
- VA: Varies by lender, but typically between 580 and 640
- USDA: Varies by lender, but typically between 580 and 640
If your credit score is less than 500, work on improving it before applying for a mortgage, because most lenders won’t issue a loan to someone with a score of 499 or lower. However, if your credit score is higher than these minimums, you may be able to secure a better interest rate.
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.”
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