Today's mortgage and refinance rates: April 14, 2021 | Rates decrease

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Most mortgage and refinance rates have decreased since last Wednesday. You might want to lock in a historically low rate with a fixed-rate mortgage instead of risking your rate increasing later with an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Typically, mortgage rates are low when the economy is struggling. The coronavirus pandemic has hurt the US economy, and it’s taking a while for the country to recover.

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Christian Wallace, Head of Real Estate Services at Better.com, told Insider that rates will probably stay low while the US waits to see if there is a fourth wave of coronavirus. A fourth wave could hurt the economy by causing more people to stay home.

It could be a good day to get a low mortgage rate. But don’t worry if you aren’t ready to buy or refinance yet, because rates will probably stay low for a while.

Today’s mortgage rates: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.60%
30-year fixed3.51%
7/1 ARM4.41%
10/1 ARM4.71%

Rates from Money.com

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Mortgage rates are low overall today. Fixed rates are significantly lower than adjustable rates.

Keep in mind, these are the national average rates for conventional mortgages, which might be what you think of “regular mortgages.” You could get a lower rate on a government-backed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

Today’s refinance rates: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.82%
30-year fixed3.82%
7/1 ARM4.70%
10/1 ARM5.11%

Rates from Money.com

Click here to compare offers from refinancing lenders »

You can get a 30-year fixed refinance rate under 4% today, while a 10/1 ARM refinance rate could be over 5%.

How to get the best mortgage rate

Mortgage rates are at all-time lows, so you may consider locking in a low rate.

But a rate increase soon is seemingly unlikely, so you don’t have to rush. Rates will probably remain low for several months, if not longer. You have the opportunity to change your financial situation and receive a lower rate. 

To get the best possible rate, consider these steps before applying:  

  • Improve your credit score by making payments on time, paying down debt, or letting your credit age. You’ll get a more agreeable interest rate with a higher score, and many lenders will lower your rate with a score of at least 700. 
  • Save more for a down paymentThe minimum down payment you’ll need depends on which type of mortgage you are after. You’ll probably get a better rate with a higher down payment.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. Most lenders want to see a ratio of 36% or less. To improve your ratio, pay down debts or look for ways to increase your income. 
  • Choose a government-backed mortgage. You may consider a USDA loan (aimed at low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (designed for military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). These mortgages often come with lower interest rates than conventional mortgages. As a bonus, down payments aren’t required for USDA or VA loans.

You can secure a low rate now if your finances are in good shape, but you don’t need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not prepared. But homes are selling fast. So if you know you’ll be ready to buy in the next couple months, you may want to lock in a rate soon so you can act quickly when it’s time to buy.

Mortgage and refinance rate trends

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.60%2.60%2.57%
30-year fixed3.51%3.54%3.48%
7/1 ARM4.41%4.50%4.28%
10/1 ARM4.71%4.85%4%

The 15-year fixed mortgage rates have held steady since last Wednesday, and other mortgage rates have decreased. All mortgage rates have increased since this time last month.

Refinance rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.82%2.90%2.88%
30-year fixed3.82%3.85%3.79%
7/1 ARM4.70%4.79%4.41%
10/1 ARM5.11%5.10%4.46%

All refinance rates have gone down since last Wednesday, except 10/1 ARM rates, which are up by just one basis point. With the exception of 15-year fixed rates, refinance rates have increased since this time last month.

How 15-year fixed rates work

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you a decade and a half to pay down your mortgage, and your interest rate will stay constant the whole time.

You’ll fork over more per month with a 15-year term than a 30-year term because you’re repaying the same mortgage principal in half the time. 

However, a 15-year fixed mortgage will cost less overall than a 30-year fixed mortgage. It will take you fewer years to pay off your mortgage and you’ll get a lower interest rate to boot. 

How 30-year fixed rates work

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your loan over 30 years, and you’ll lock in your interest rate for the entire term. 

You’ll pay less per month with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term because you’re splitting up your payments over more years.  

But it will cost you more in interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term, as you’re paying a higher interest rate for longer. 

How adjustable rates work

An adjustable-rate mortgage, commonly referred to as an ARM, will set your rate for a predefined period. Then your rate will fluctuate periodically. A 10/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for a decade, then your rate will vary annually. 

You may want a fixed-rate mortgage over an ARM, even though ARM rates are now at historic lows. The 30-year fixed rates are equivalent to or lower than ARM rates, so it could be the right time to lock in a low rate with a fixed mortgage. Additionally, you won’t chance an ARM rate increase down the line.

If you’re considering getting an ARM, discuss with your lender what your rates would be if you chose a fixed-rate versus an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Laura Grace Tarpley is an editor at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

Ryan Wangman is a reviews fellow at Personal Finance Insider reporting on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership.

See the mortgage rates for Wednesday, April 14 2021 »

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