Here Are Today’s Mortgage Rates, February 18, 2021 | Rates Go Up

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A number of principal mortgage rates all marched higher today. Both 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates saw growth. At the same time, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) were reduced.

Take a look at today’s rates:

Today’s Mortgage Refinance Rates

Refinancing became a bit more expensive today as 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed refinance mortgages saw their average rates go higher. If you’ve been considering a 10-year refinance loan, average rates also moved up.

Today’s refinance rates are:

Find current mortgage rates for today.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 2.96%, which is a growth of 14 basis points from last week.

You can use NextAdvisor’s home loan calculator to determine your monthly payments and play around with extra mortgage payments to wrap your head around how much you could save. The mortgage calculator can also show you the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan

15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

The median rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.40%, which is an increase of 7 basis points from seven days ago.

A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment is larger and will take up a bigger chunk of your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage would. However, 15-year loans have some considerable benefits: You’ll save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off your loan much faster.

5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 2.94%, a slide of 1 basis point compared to last week.

An ARM is ideal for individuals who will sell or refinance before the rate changes. If that’s not the case, their interest rates could end up being noticeably higher after a rate adjusts.

For the first five years, a 5/1 ARM will typically have a lower interest rate compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. Just keep in mind that your payment could end up being hundreds of dollars higher after a rate adjustment, depending on the terms of your loan.

How Mortgage Rates Have Changed

To see where mortgage rates are moving we rely on information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as NextAdvisor. Looking at mortgage rate history, we’re seeing low rates like never before. The table below compares today’s average rates to what they were a week ago, and is based on information provided to Bankrate by lenders from across the country:

Average mortgage interest rates
ProductRateLast weekChange
30-year fixed2.96%2.82%+0.14
15-year fixed2.40%2.33%-0.07
30-year jumbo mortgage rate3.01%2.84%+0.17
30-year mortgage refinance rate3.00%2.84%+0.16

Rates as of February 18, 2021.

There isn’t a single factor that causes mortgage rates to move, but rather there are many. Chief among them are things including inflation and even the unemployment rate. When you see inflation increasing that usually means mortgage rates are about to climb higher. On the other hand, lower inflation typically accompanies lower mortgage rates. With higher inflation, the dollar becomes less valuable. This scenario pushes buyers away from mortgage-backed securities, which leads to price decreases and the need for increasing yields. And higher yields require borrowers to pay higher interest rates.

The demand for housing can also impact mortgage rates. If more people are buying homes, there is a greater need for mortgages. This type of demand can drive interest rates up. And if there is less demand for mortgages, that can cause a decline in mortgage rates.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed in 2021?

In recent months, we’ve seen mortgage interest rates linger near all-time lows. And for 2021, some experts predict mortgage rates will stay that way. Although, toward the end of the year we could see rates start to gradually rise.

Where rates go is largely dependent on what happens with the economy. How effective we are in dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is key to our economic recovery.
As the economy recovers, we should see inflation rise, which will put upward pressure on mortgage rates. However, if the economic recovery is slower than expected and the pandemic drags on, it’s likely we’ll see low rates for the foreseeable future. And the Federal Reserve could also act to limit the increase of mortgage rates if it feels the economy cannot support them

Factors Behind Today’s Mortgage Rates

Your mortgage rate is determined by a number of things. First off, your personal finances have a big influence. A higher credit score or having the ability to make a larger down payment will help you qualify for a better rate. However, not everything is in your control, many larger economic factors play a role as well:

  • Condition of the economy
  • Federal Reserve policy decisions
  • Spending in the private and public sectors
  • Yields for 10-year Treasury bonds
  • Rate of inflation
  • Personal financial situation: Size of your down payment, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

If you’re looking for the absolute lowest mortgage interest rate you should focus on three things: Credit score, loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

These days, a credit score of 750 or above will help you qualify for the best rate. But, even a score of over 700 can get you a noticeable rate reduction compared to a lower credit score. However, once you get a credit score higher than 800, the mortgage rate discount is negligible.

When you’re looking to buy a home, it’s better to have less debt. When you have fewer debt payments to make each month, it lowers your DTI. And a lower DTI will help you get a better interest rate.

Mortgage providers offer the biggest mortgage rate discounts to home buyers that are deemed less risky. A sizeable down payment is a sign to lenders that you have more skin in the game and are less likely to default on your loan. A down payment of 20% or more will save you money in two ways; with a more favorable mortgage rate, and you’ll be able to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

There’s no “right time” to buy a house — the decision is a highly personal one. Keep in mind, when you purchase a home the monthly payment won’t be your only cost. You’ll also need enough money saved up for upfront closing costs and a down payment. And you’ll get a better deal if you have a higher credit score and lower debt-to-income ratio.

However, the pandemic has exacerbated a shortage of homes, leading to bidding wars and rising prices. Those trends mean it can be a frustrating market for buyers.

How We Got These Rates

The rates we have included are averages provided by Bankrate.com Site Averages and are calculated after the close of the previous business day. The lenders that the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables include are not the same from day to day.

National lenders provide this mortgage rate information to Bankrate.com. It is possible the mortgage rates we reference has changed since this was published.

Mortgage Interest Rates by Loan Type

Home Purchase Rates

Mortgage Refinance Rates

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