Mortgage refinance rates on May 18, 2021: Rates rise


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A number of closely followed mortgage refinance rates ticked up today. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their average rates climb. In addition, the average rate on 10-year fixed refinance also increased. Refinance interest rates are never set in stone — but rates have been historically low. If you plan to refinance your home, now might be an excellent time to get a good rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before refinancing, and talk to multiple lenders to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

30-year fixed refinance rates

The current average interest rate for a 30-year refinance is 3.15%, an increase of 6 basis points from what we saw one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) One reason to refinance to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term is to lower your monthly payment. This makes 30-year refinances good for people who are having difficulties making their monthly payments or simply want a bit more breathing room. In exchange for the lower monthly payments though, rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than 15-year and 10-year refinance rates. You’ll also pay off your loan slower.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The average 15-year fixed refinance rate right now is 2.43%, an increase of 2 basis points over last week. A 15-year fixed refinance will most likely raise your monthly payment compared to a 30-year loan. On the other hand, you’ll save a lot of money on interest, since you’ll pay off the loan sooner. You’ll also typically get lower interest rates compared to a 30-year loan. This can help you save even more in the long run.

10-year fixed-rate refinance

For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 2.43%, an increase of 5 basis points from what we saw the previous week. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to make sure you’ll be able to afford the higher monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

We track refinance rate trends using data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders nationwide:

Average refinance interest rates

ProductRateA week agoChange
30-year fixed refi3.15%3.09%+0.06
15-year fixed refi2.43%2.41%+0.02
10-year fixed refi2.43%2.38%+0.05

Rates as of May 18, 2021.

How to find personalized refinance rates

When searching for refinance rates online, it’s important to remember that your specific financial situation will influence the rate you’re offered. Though current market conditions will be a factor, your particular interest rate will depend largely on your application and credit history.

Generally, you’ll want a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of making consistent and on-time payments in order to get the best interest rates. You can generally get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. You should also take into account any fees and closing costs that might offset the potential savings of a refinance.

You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. This means that if you don’t have great credit ratings, you might not be able to take advantage of lowered interest rates — or qualify for a refinance in the first place.

One way to get the best refinance rates is to strengthen your borrower application. If you haven’t already, try to improve your credit by monitoring your credit reports, using credit responsibly, and managing your finances carefully. Don’t forget to speak with multiple lenders and shop around to find the best rate.

When should I refinance?

In order for a refinance to make sense, you’ll generally want to get a lower interest rate than your current rate. Aside from interest rates, changing your loan term is another reason to refinance. Interest rates in the past few months have been at historic lows, but that’s not the only thing you should be looking at when deciding whether to refinance.

Make sure to consider your goals and financial situation, including how long you plan to stay in your current home. It’s helpful to have a specific goal for a refinance — such as decreasing your monthly payment or adjusting the term of your loan. Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.

Some lenders have tightened their requirements in recent months, so you may not be able to get a refinance at the posted interest rates — or even a refinance at all — if you don’t meet their standards.Refinancing at a lower interest rate can save you money in the long run and help you pay off your loan sooner. But a careful cost-benefit analysis is necessary to confirm that doing so makes sense.



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