30-year fixed mortgage ratesThe average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.96 percent, declining 6 basis points over the past seven days. A month ago, the average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was less favorable, at 3.04 percent.At today’s interest rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $419.45 for every $100k you borrow. Compared to last Wednesday, that’s $3.23 lower. Use Bankrate’s mortgage rate calculator to approximate your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. This calculator will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.30-year fixed refinance ratesThe average rate to refinance a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.05 percent, decreasing 13 basis points over the previous seven days. Last month on the 18th, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.20 percent.At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of about $424 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to last week, that’s $7.06 lower. Pros and cons of a 30-year mortgage termThe 30-year mortgage is the most popular home loan, and it has a number of advantages. Among them:
Lower monthly payment. The 30-year mortgage offers lower, more affordable payments spread over time compared with shorter-term mortgages.
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. 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 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. 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 payoff of the loan amount.
Buying a pricier 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 are typically 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 slash 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’s editorial team 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 predictions.
In order to provide the latest rates, mortgage lenders nationwide respond to Bankrate’s weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see our latest marketplace average rates and an up to date analysis on current interest rates..
Searching for the right mortgage lender? Check out reviews of lenders nationwide.
Other daily news articles:
Today’s mortgage rates
Refinance rates today
Searching for the right mortgage lender?
First Rate Mortgage Review
Mr. Cooper Mortgage Review
HomePlus Mortgage Review
Check out all reviews of lenders nationwide
Compare mortgage rates for various loan types
Mortgage Purchase Rates
Mortgage Refinance Rates
The index above links out to loan-specific pages to help our readers learn more about rates by product type.
30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
30-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
20-Year Mortgage Interest Rates
Current 20-Year Refinance Rates
15 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
15-Year Refinance Rates
Current 10 Year Mortgage Rates
10-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
FHA Mortgage Loan Rates
Current FHA Loan Refinance Rates
Current VA Mortgage Rates
VA Mortgage Refinance Rates
ARM Mortgage Rates
Current ARM Refinance Rates
Jumbo Mortgage 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”.