30-year fixed mortgage interest ratesThe average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.04 percent, falling 4 basis points over the previous seven days. One month ago, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was higher, at 3.05 percent.At today’s interest rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $423.76 for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $2.17 lower than what it would have been last week. Learn more about 30-year fixed mortgage rates, and compare to a variety of other loan types.30-year refinance ratesToday’s average refinance rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.13 percent, rising 5 basis points compared to a week ago. This time last month, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.10 percent.At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $428.65 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to last week, that’s $2.72 higher. Compared to a month ago, that’s $1.63 higher.Pros and cons of the 30-year mortgageThe 30-year mortgage is the most popular home loan, and it has a number of advantages. Among them:
Lower monthly payment. Compared to a shorter term, such as 15 years, the 30-year mortgage offers lower, more affordable payments spread over time.
Stability. With a 30-year mortgage, you lock in a consistent principal and interest payment. Because of the predictability, you can plan your housing expenses for the long term. Keep in mind: Your monthly housing payment can change if your homeowners insurance and property taxes go up or, less likely, down.
Buying power. Because you have lower payments, you can qualify for a bigger loan and a more expensive house.
Flexibility. Lower monthly payments can free up some of your monthly budget for other goals, like saving for emergencies, retirement, college tuition or home repairs and maintenance.
Strategic use of debt. Some argue that Americans focus too much on paying down their mortgages rather than adding to their retirement accounts. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a lower monthly cost can allow you to save more for retirement.
The 30-year mortgage also has some downsides:
More total interest paid. Stretching out repayment to a 30-year term means you pay more overall in interest than you would with a shorter-term loan.
Higher mortgage rates. Lenders charge higher interest rates for 30-year mortgages compared to 15-year loans. That’s because they’re taking on the risk of not being repaid for a longer time span.
Slower equity growth. The amortization table for a 30-year mortgage reveals a harsh reality: In the early years, almost all of your payments go to interest rather than principal. A 15-year loan brings a higher monthly payment but much faster retirement of the loan amount.
Buying more house than you should. Just because you might be able to afford more house with a 30-year loan doesn’t mean you should stretch your budget to the breaking point. Give yourself some breathing room for other financial goals and unexpected expenses. Use Bankrate’s home affordability calculator to determine how much house you can afford.
Mortgage lock recommendations
A rate lock guarantees a lender will honor a specified interest rate at a specific cost for a set period. The benefit of a mortgage rate lock is that it protects you from market fluctuations. It also puts pressure on borrowers to make sure they close on homes before the rate-lock period expires. For example, if your lender locks in your rate at 3.75 percent for 45 days and rates jump up to 4 percent within that period, you’ll still get your loan at the lesser rate.
If they choose not to lock in your rate, you’ll have a “floating” rate. That’s not a bad strategy when interest rates are generally falling, but it could be costly in a rising rate environment. For risk-averse people who are looking for a mortgage, a rate-lock is a must. It’s a good idea to ask for a 45-day lock at a minimum; 60 days is even better.
Where rates are headed
Once a week, our editorial team asks a panel of mortgage experts where they think mortgage rates will go over the next week. See Bankrate’s Mortgage Rate Trend Index for weekly forecasts.
In order to provide the latest rates, mortgage lenders across the nation respond to Bankrate’s weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a variety of purchase loans.
Shopping for a mortgage lender? See Bankrate’s mortgage lender reviews.
Other daily news articles:
Mortgage rates today
Refinance rates today
Searching for the right lender?
SoFi Mortgage Review
Caliber Home Loans Mortgage Review
USAA Mortgage Review
Learn more about specific loan type rates
Mortgage Rates for Purchase
Mortgage Rates for Refinancing
The index above links out to loan-specific content to help you learn more about rates by product type.
Current 30 Year Mortgage Rates
30-Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Mortgage Rates
20-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
Today’s 15-Year Mortgage Rates
15-Year Refi Interest Rates
Current 10 Year Mortgage Rates
10-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
FHA Mortgage Loan Rates
FHA Refinance Rates
VA Mortgage Interest Rates
VA Mortgage Refinance Rates
Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rates
ARM Refinance Interest Rates
Jumbo Loan Interest Rates
Jumbo Refinance Rates
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 on-site rate averages”.