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What Are Today’s 15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates?
On Sunday, May 16, 2021 according to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 2.350% with an APR of 2.650%. The average 15-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 2.390% with an APR of 2.610%.
Current 15-Year Mortgage Rates
|30-Year Fixed Rate||3.100%||3.250%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||2.800%||3.650%|
|30-Year VA Rate||2.660%||2.860%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||3.110%||3.180%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||3.010%||3.170%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||2.390%||2.610%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||2.390%||2.450%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||2.380%||2.570%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||3.020%||4.030%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||2.740%||3.870%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||3.010%||3.880%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||3.070%||3.810%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||3.210%||4.040%|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||3.060%||3.280%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||2.850%||3.700%|
|30-Year VA Rate||2.660%||2.840%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||3.070%||3.180%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||2.950%||3.150%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||2.350%||2.650%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||2.350%||2.420%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||2.330%||2.560%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||3.140%||3.990%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||3.190%||3.870%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||3.180%||3.880%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||3.360%||3.850%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||3.420%||4.090%|
Rates as of Sunday, May 16, 2021
What Is a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage?
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is repaid over a 15-year period and has an interest rate that never changes. Typically, 15-year mortgages have lower interest rates than comparable 30-year fixed rate mortgages. This is because you’re paying off the loan much more quickly and shorter-term loans usually have lower mortgage rates. The tradeoff is your monthly payments increase as your repayment period gets shorter.
What Is a Good 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage?
If you can qualify for a 15-year fixed mortgage rate below 3%, you’re locking in a historically low interest rate. The actual mortgage rate you qualify for will vary depending on the lender and your personal financial situation. So even if you are getting a rate above 3%, it may still be a great deal for you.
How to Compare 15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
When shopping for the best mortgage rate you need to consider the overall cost of the loan, not just the interest rate. Mortgage closing costs can be 3%-6% of the loan amount and the fees you pay vary by lender. The lender with the lowest rate could be more expensive overall if it is charging higher origination fees or adding in discount points. This is why you should compare annual percentage rates (APR), which factor in certain fees in addition to the interest rate, as opposed to just the interest rate.
You can compare interest rates and fees by looking at the Loan Estimate, which the lender must provide within three business days from when you submit a mortgage application. Since all lenders are required to use the same Loan Estimate form, it’s easy to evaluate multiple offers.
When to Consider a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
Some experts recommend waiting to purchase a home until you can afford a 15-year fixed rate mortgage because you’ll pay much less in interest compared to a 30-year home loan. But ultimately, the higher monthly payment associated with a 15-year loan won’t fit into some budgets.
Pros to Having a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage
The main advantage of a 15-year fixed mortgage is you’ll pay much less interest over the life of the loan. Currently, the average 15-year fixed mortgage interest rate is about 0.5% less than a comparable 30-year fixed rate mortgage. When you combine the lower rate with the shorter term you can save six figures in interest on a $300,000 loan, according to the Next Advisor mortgage calculator.
Paying less interest and making larger monthly payments allow borrowers with a 15-year home loan to build equity much more quickly. One tangible benefit of this is the ability to waive private mortgage insurance payments more quickly, as homeowners typically need at least 20% equity before dropping this coverage.
Cons to Having a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage
The biggest drawback of a 15-year fixed mortgage is you will have higher monthly payments than with a 30-year mortgage. In the example above the monthly payment is 56% higher for the 15-year mortgage. While you will save on interest in the long term, you might have to sacrifice other priorities to cover your mortgage payment. For many homeowners the lower monthly payments associated with a 30-year mortgage are better because they provide flexibility to build an emergency fund, pay down other debts, or save for retirement.
15-Year Mortgages Versus 30-Year Mortgages
When you change the repayment term of a mortgage it has a significant impact on your monthly mortgage payment. Short term mortgages, like a 15-year loan, means a higher monthly mortgage payment that can be 40% to 50% higher than a 30-year mortgage. But the you’ll be able to pay off the loan much sooner. The flip side, a 30-year mortgage means a lower mortgage payment — but it will greatly increase the interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
|Loan Term||Interest Rate||Loan Amount||Monthly Payment||Total Loan Cost|
The other big consideration with 15-year versus 30-year mortgages is the difference in interest rate. While rates vary from day to day, the spread between these two loan terms can easily be 0.50% to 0.75%, which is sizable.
Is a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage Right for You?
A 15-year fixed mortgage is an excellent option for financing your home purchase if you want to pay as little interest as possible, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. For many potential homeowners a 15-year loan simply isn’t an affordable option. This is part of the reason why only around 10%-15% of the conventional mortgages originated in the past few years were 15-year fixed loans, according to data provided by Freddie Mac.
You can typically borrow more with a 30-year mortgage than with a 15-year loan. This is because the amount you can borrow is based on your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and the higher monthly payments that come with 15-year loans will increase your DTI. This means some homebuyers shopping in expensive markets may not have enough income to qualify for a 15-year loan, even with excellent credit.
How to Find Personalized 15-Year Mortgage Rates?
To find personalized 15-year mortgage rates you’ll need to compare offers from different lenders. Start off by getting preapproved – this will give you a general idea of how much you can borrow and what rates you’ll qualify for. Then, once you’ve had a purchase offer for a home accepted, you should choose a small handful of lenders to submit applications to.
After submitting your application each lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate and you should be able to lock the best rate.
Tax Deductions and 15-Year Mortgage Rates
In 2017, the laws surrounding mortgage interest tax deductions changed, but you can still deduct the interest you pay if you qualify. The problem is that you can only claim mortgage-related tax deductions if you itemize your deductions. And it only makes sense to itemize your tax deductions if they will total more than the standard deduction, which for 2020 is $12,400 for individuals and $24,800 if you’re married and filing jointly.
If you end up itemizing your deductions, the mortgage interest you paid on your primary residence, and possibly on a second home (that’s not rented out), may be deductible. Keep in mind that interest on loans over $750,000 isn’t deductible. But if the mortgage was closed before Dec. 16, 2017, the loan limit for interest deductions goes up $1 million.