Mortgage Rates Today: March 21, 2024—30-Year Mortgage Rates Increase, 15-Year Rates Steady

Currently, the current average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.47%, compared to 7.37% a week ago.

For borrowers who want to pay off their home faster, the average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage is 6.67%, up 0.04 percentage point from the previous week.

Homeowners who want to lock in a lower rate by refinancing should compare their existing mortgage rate with current market rates to make sure it’s worth the cost to refinance.

Current Mortgage Rates for March 21, 2024

30-Year Mortgage Rates

Today’s 30-year mortgage—the most popular mortgage product—is 7.47%, up 0.10 percentage point from a week earlier.

The interest rate is just one fee included in your mortgage. You’ll also pay lender fees, which differ from lender to lender. Both interest rate and lender fees are captured in the annual percentage rate, or the APR. This week the APR on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 7.38%. Last week, the APR was 7.29%.

Let’s say your home loan is $100,000 and you have a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with the current rate of 7.47%, your monthly payment will be about $697, including principal and interest (taxes and fees not included), the Forbes Advisor mortgage calculator shows. That’s around $150,929 in total interest over the life of the loan.

15-Year Mortgage Rates

The average interest rate on a 15-year mortgage (fixed-rate) sits at 6.67%. This same time last week, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 6.63%.

The APR on a 15-year fixed is 6.62%. It was 6.57% this time last week.

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage of $100,000 with today’s interest rate of 6.67% will cost $881 per month in principal and interest. Over the life of the loan, you would pay $58,506 in total interest.

Jumbo Mortgage Rates

The current average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo mortgage is 7.42%— 0.06 percentage point up from last week. The 30-year jumbo mortgage rate had a 52-week APR low of 5.00% and a 52-week high of 10.50%.

A 30-year jumbo mortgage at today’s fixed interest rate of 7.42% will cost you $693 per month in principal and interest per $100,000. On a $750,000 jumbo mortgage, the monthly principal and interest payment would be approximately $5,201.

How To Calculate Mortgage Payments

Before you look for a house, you should get to know your budget. This will give you an idea of the type of house you can afford. Start by using a mortgage calculator to get a rough estimate.

Simply input the following information:

  • Home price
  • Down payment amount
  • Interest rate
  • Loan term
  • Taxes, insurance and any HOA fees

How Are Mortgage Rates Determined?

Home loan borrowers can qualify for better mortgage rates by having good or excellent credit, maintaining a low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and pursuing loan programs that don’t charge mortgage insurance premiums or similar ongoing charges that increase the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR).

Comparing rates from different mortgage lenders is an excellent starting point. You may also compare conventional, first-time homebuyer and government-backed programs like FHA and VA loans, which have different rates and fees.

For the most part, several economic factors influence the trajectory of rates for new home loans. The recent Federal Reserve rate hikes don’t directly cause mortgage rates to rise but have indirectly caused the interest rates for many long-term loans to increase. Rates are more likely to decrease when the Fed pauses or decreases its benchmark Federal Funds Rate.

Further, the inflation rate and the general state of the economy directly impact interest rates. High inflation and a strong economy typically signal higher rates. Cooling consumer demand or inflation may help rates decrease.

What Is the Best Type of Mortgage Loan?

Many home buyers are eligible for several mortgage loan types. Each program can have its own advantages:

  • Conventional mortgage. A conventional home loan is ideal for borrowers with good or excellent credit to qualify for competitive rates. Additionally, making a minimum 20% down payment helps you waive private mortgage insurance premiums.
  • FHA loan. An FHA home loan is best when applying with imperfect credit or a low down payment. You can put as little as 3.5% down with a credit score above 580. A minimum 10% down payment is necessary for credit scores ranging from 500 to 579.
  • VA loan. Borrowers with a qualifying military background may prefer a VA loan for its flexibility. A down payment may not be required. While you pay a one-time funding fee, there are no ongoing mortgage insurance premiums or service fees.
  • USDA loan. Applicants in eligible rural areas can buy or build a home with no down payment, although an upfront and annual guarantee fee applies. Additionally, income requirements apply and this program requires a moderate income or lower.
  • Jumbo loan. Homebuyers in a high-cost-of-living area will need to apply for a jumbo loan when the loan amount exceeds the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s conforming loan limits. The limit in most municipalities is $726,200 in 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good mortgage rate?

A competitive mortgage rate currently ranges from 6% to 8% for a 30-year fixed loan. Several factors impact mortgage rates, including the repayment term, loan type and borrower’s credit score.

How to get a lower mortgage interest rate?

Comparing lenders and loan programs is an excellent start. Borrowers should also strive for a good or excellent credit score between 670 and 850 and a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less.

Further, making a minimum down payment of 20% on conventional mortgages can help you automatically waive private mortgage insurance premiums, which increases your borrowing costs. Buying discount points or lender credits can also reduce your interest rate.

How long can you lock in a mortgage rate?

Most rate locks last 30 to 60 days and your lender may not charge a fee for this initial period. However, extending the rate lock period up to 90 or 120 days is possible, depending on your lender, but additional costs may apply.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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