30-year fixed mortgage interest rates
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.03 percent, decreasing 2 basis points over the last week. One month ago, the average rate on a 30-year loan was worse, at 3.05 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $423.22 for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $1.09 lower than what it would have been a week ago.
Use Bankrate’s mortgage rate calculator to estimate your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. Our tool will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll fork up over the life of your loan.
30-year fixed refinance rates
Today’s average refinance rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.18 percent, up 14 basis points over the past seven days. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.09 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of about $431 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to last week, that’s $7.61 higher. Compared to a month ago, that’s $4.90 higher.
Pros and cons of a 30-year mortgage term
The 30-year mortgage is the most popular option for homeowners, and this type of loan has a number of advantages, including:
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 the 30-year, you lock in a consistent principal and interest payment. That predictability lets you 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. With lower payments, you can qualify for a larger loan amount and a more expensive home.
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 mortgage with a lower monthly payment can allow you to save more for retirement.
As with any financial product, the 30-year mortgage has some downsides, including:
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. Compared to 15-year loans, lenders charge higher interest rates for 30-year loans 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 a more expensive 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.
30-year fixed mortgage vs. 15-year fixed mortgage
The main downside of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the amount of interest you’ll pay. Mortgage rates tend to be higher for 30-year loans than 15-year loans. Although your monthly payments will be lower for a 30-year loan, you’ll pay a lot more interest over the life of the loan.
For example, with a 15-year fixed mortgage loan, you’ll cut your repayment time in half and save significantly on interest in the process. Compare how much interest you’ll pay on 15-year and 30-year loans with Bankrate’s 15-year or 30-year fixed mortgage calculator.
Mortgage lock recommendations
A rate lock guarantees a lender will honor a specified interest rate at a specific cost for a set period. A mortgage rate lock 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
Every week, Bankrate asks a panel of mortgage experts where they think mortgage rates will go over the next week. See Bankrate’s Rate Trends Page for weekly bets.
To provide the freshest rates, lenders nationwide 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 an assortment of purchase and refinance loans.
Shopping for the right lender? See Bankrate’s mortgage lender reviews.
Read about today’s rates for a variety of loan terms:
Current mortgage rates
Refinance rates today
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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”.