A short-term 15-year mortgage can be ideal for homebuyers that want to secure the absolute lowest possible interest rate and can afford higher monthly payments.
Here’s what you need to know about 15-year mortgage rates and how to make the best decision for you.
The Latest Mortgage News
What’s Causing Mortgage Rates to Go Up?
The surge in mortgage rates so far this year is due to a variety of economic factors. Persistently high inflation is a big one, Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst at LendingTree told us. The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has inflation at 8.3% in April — the highest it’s been in 40 years. Interest rates tend to rise when inflation is high, says Channel. In May, mortgage rates rose again after the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that it will raise its benchmark short-term interest rate by a half of a percentage point (0.50%) with the intention to help combat inflation.
Financial markets are still responding to other global factors that can affect the economy, namely China’s COVID lockdown and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We have a lot of factors like that that are putting upward pressure on mortgage rates,” Channel says. “The volatility has been through the roof,” Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, told us. “The market has been adjusting to a new news cycle practically every single day.”
Rising Mortgage Rates and Homebuying
A higher mortgage rate leads to a higher monthly payment, which can eat into your total buying power. But, experts also point out that these 4.5%-5.5% rates we are seeing right now are still considered favorable from a historical perspective. It was only a few short years ago when a “good rate” was around 5%.
Rising mortgage rates also mean the rate you might be quoted one day could be significantly different than one you get the next day. Experts caution against trying to time the market to get the best rate. “If you think you’re going to like the rate, lock it,” Jennifer Beeston, senior vice president of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate, told us. “Because it’s probably going to change in 20 minutes.”
Be sure to get quotes from different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal, experts say. “The rate highly impacts your monthly affordability for as long as you will hold this home,” Skylar Olsen, principal economist at Tomo, a digital real estate and mortgage company, told us. “It is actually a critical piece of this decision, and that takes shopping around.”
Home Prices Are Also Rising: What Can I Do?
When thinking about your mortgage rate, it’s also important to consider what’s happening to housing prices. Data from Realtor.com found the median U.S. home listing price was $405,000 in March, the first time it’s ever been over $400,000. Experts say the big uptick in prices is due to a mismatch between supply and demand: There are a lot of people trying to buy houses, and there aren’t enough houses to go around. That means you probably shouldn’t wait around and hope for the market to crash. “I don’t think buyers should be betting on any really significant price declines,” Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told us.
What you can do is think beyond just the mortgage rate. Be sure you’re in a good position to buy a house. “The most important thing that any would-be homebuyer should do is take stock of where they are personally,” said Channel. “Do I have enough cash to make my mortgage payments, to put money down on a down payment? Is my credit score good?” Then, be patient and be creative with your home search. Don’t rush for the first houses you see, he says. Look in unexpected places. One possibility is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s page of foreclosed homes. “The more you plan and the more diligent you are before you really even start going out house hunting actively, the easier it is to navigate a housing market that is as hot and fast as this one,” Channel says.
It’s more important than ever to shop around for a mortgage when you’re in the market for a house, said Channel. When rates aren’t going up as dramatically as they are now, quotes from different lenders can regularly vary by half a percentage point. With the market moving so quickly, that could be even higher.
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What Are Today’s 15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates?
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022 according to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.760% with an APR of 4.800%. The average 15-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 4.730% with an APR of 4.760%.
Current 15-Year Mortgage Rates
|30-Year Fixed Rate||5.340%||5.360%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||4.590%||5.440%|
|30-Year VA Rate||4.710%||4.920%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||5.310%||5.320%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||5.290%||5.320%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||4.730%||4.760%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||4.710%||4.740%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||4.690%||4.730%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||3.750%||4.730%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||3.550%||4.540%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||4.800%||4.420%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||4.850%||4.370%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||4.900%||4.590%|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||5.400%||5.420%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||4.580%||5.400%|
|30-Year VA Rate||4.830%||4.950%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||5.360%||5.380%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||5.380%||5.410%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||4.760%||4.800%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||4.790%||4.820%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||4.700%||4.740%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||3.850%||4.820%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||3.610%||4.830%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||4.710%||4.430%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||4.780%||4.360%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||4.800%||4.560%|
Rates as of Wednesday, May 18, 2022
ABOUT THESE RATES
These rate averages are based on weekday mortgage rate information provided by national lenders to Bankrate.com, which like NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures.
These averages provide borrowers a broad view of average rates that can inform borrowers when comparing lender offers. We feature both the interest rate and the annual percentage rate (APR), which includes additional lender fees, so you can get a better idea of the overall cost of the loan. The actual interest rate you can qualify for may be different from the average rates quoted in our rate table. But these rates are useful for giving you a benchmark to use when comparing loan offers by giving you a sense of how the type of mortgage and the length of the repayment term impacts your interest rate and APR.
Pros and Cons of a 15-Year Mortgage
A 15-year fixed rate mortgage will cost much less in interest compared to a 30-year home loan. But not everyone can afford the higher payment. Here are the pros and cons to consider:
Lower interest rates
Shorter repayment term
Build equity more quickly
Pay much less interest in the long term
Higher monthly payments
Less money to invest each month
Less money available to save each month
15-Year Mortgage Rate: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a 15-year fixed rate mortgage?
What is a good 15-year fixed rate mortgage?
The actual mortgage rate you qualify for will vary depending on the lender and your personal financial situation. Rates are expected to continue rising into 2022, and the definition of a good rate may change over time. Overall, relative to prepandmic rates, mortgage rates are currently still in the favorable range.
How do I compare 15-Year fixed mortgage rates?
When shopping for the best mortgage rate you need to consider the overall cost of the loan, not just the interest rate. Mortgage closing costs can be 3%-6% of the loan amount and the fees you pay vary by lender. The lender with the lowest rate could be more expensive overall if it is charging higher origination fees or adding in discount points. This is why you should compare annual percentage rates (APR), which factor in certain fees in addition to the interest rate, as opposed to just the interest rate.
You can compare interest rates and fees by looking at the Loan Estimate, which the lender must provide within three business days from when you submit a mortgage application. Since all lenders are required to use the same Loan Estimate form, it’s easy to evaluate multiple offers.
What is the difference between a 15-year mortgage versus a 30-Year mortgage?
Short term mortgages, like a 15-year loan, means a higher monthly mortgage payment that can be 40% to 50% higher than a 30-year mortgage. But you’ll be able to pay off the loan much sooner. The flip side, a 30-year mortgage means a lower mortgage payment — but it will greatly increase the interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
|LOAN TERM||INTEREST RATE||LOAN AMOUNT||MONTHLY PAYMENT||TOTAL LOAN COST|
The other big consideration with 15-year versus 30-year mortgages is the difference in interest rate. While rates vary from day to day, the spread between these two loan terms can easily be 0.50% to 0.75%, which is sizable.
How do I know if a 15-year fixed mortgage is right for me?
A 15-year fixed mortgage is an excellent option for financing your home purchase if you want to pay as little interest as possible, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. For many potential homeowners a 15-year loan simply isn’t an affordable option.
You can typically borrow more with a 30-year mortgage than with a 15-year loan. This is because the amount you can borrow is based on your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and the higher monthly payments that come with 15-year loans will increase your DTI. This means some homebuyers shopping in expensive markets may not have enough income to qualify for a 15-year loan, even with excellent credit.
How do I find personalized 15-year mortgage rates?
To find personalized 15-year mortgage rates you’ll need to compare offers from different lenders. Start off by getting preapproved – this will give you a general idea of how much you can borrow and what rates you’ll qualify for. Then, once you’ve had a purchase offer for a home accepted, you should choose a small handful of lenders to submit applications to.
After submitting your mortgage application, each lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate and you should be able to lock the best rate.