Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: March 11, 2021 | Rates rise

All mortgage and refinance rates are up since last Thursday. That said, rates are still at historic lows in general. 

If you’re prepared to get a mortgage or refinance, you might consider a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Darrin English, Senior Community Development Loan Officer at Quontic Bank, told Insider ARMs were occasionally a better deal for borrowers in the past. Now, you can lock in a lower fixed rate for the future, and you won’t risk an ARM rate increase down the line.

You may want to secure a low rate while you can.

Rates from Money.com

All mortgage rates have increased since last Thursday. They have gone up more significantly since last month, with adjustable rates rising by more than 40 basis points. Rates remain low overall, though.

We’re showing you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider “standard mortgages.” You may qualify for a better rate with a government-backed mortgage through the FHAVA, or USDA.

Rates from Money.com

All mortgage refinance rates have ticked up since last week. While fixed rates have increased moderately, adjustable mortgage rates have risen more substantially. Refinance rates are much higher than they were at this point last month.

In general, refinance rates are still at all-time lows. Low rates usually signify a struggling economy. Rates will likely stay low as the US continues to bear the brunt of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since last Thursday, all fixed and adjustable mortgage rates have risen — though they remain at all-time lows. You may think about securing a low mortgage rate now. 

However, you shouldn’t be too worried about your rate going up shortly. Rates will probably remain low for months, if not years, so there’s no need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance. You have the opportunity to improve your financial situation and receive an improved rate. 

To get a great rate, consider these steps before applying:  

  • Boost your credit scoreYou can begin by making timely payments, paying off your debts, or letting your credit age. You’ll receive a better 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 smallest amount required for your down payment will depend on the type of mortgage you want. The larger your down payment, the more likely your lender will offer you an improved interest rate.
  • 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 better your ratio, pay down debts or seek opportunities to increase your income. 
  • Choose a government-backed mortgage. You may think about a USDA loan (designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (intended for military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). These mortgages frequently come with lower interest rates than conventional mortgages. Additionally, you don’t need a down payment for USDA or VA loans.

You can secure a low rate now if your finances look good, but you don’t need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not prepared.

If you take out a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay the same interest rate over 15 years. 

You’ll fork over more per month with a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage because you’re paying off the equivalent loan principal in half the time. 

On the bright side, a 15-year term will cost less than a longer term. You’ll get a lower interest rate and you’ll pay off your mortgage in fewer years. 

If you get a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your mortgage over three decades, and your interest rate will remain constant for the entire term. A 30-year fixed mortgage has a higher interest rate than a shorter term.

You’ll pay less per month with a 30-year term than with a shorter term because you’re splitting up your payments over an extended amount of time.

In the long run, you’ll pay more in interest with a 30-year term than a 15-year term because you’re paying a higher interest rate for more years.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, frequently referred to as an ARM, will lock in your rate for a set period and then it will change frequently. A 7/1 ARM locks in your rate for seven years. Then, your rate will fluctuate once per year. 

Although ARM rates are relatively low currently, you still might want to pursue a fixed-rate mortgage. The 30-year fixed rates are the same as or lower than ARM rates, so it could be a great opportunity to lock in a low rate with a fixed mortgage. This way, you won’t have to worry about your rate going up in the future with an ARM.

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

You can get a low rate today. Just make sure you’re ready financially before you act. 

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

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.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages 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.

See the mortgage rates for Wednesday, March 10 »

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