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 Rate & Housing News
What’s Going On With Rising Mortgage Rates?
The surge in mortgage rates so far this year is due to a variety of economic factors. Persistently high inflation is a big one. August’s inflation report showed prices up 8.3% year-over-year, which was lower than July’s 8.5% but higher than expected.
Another important driver behind mortgage rate increases is the latest rate hike by the Federal Reserve — the central bank’s third 75-basis-point increase in a row. “Until we get some sustained evidence that inflation is beginning to recede, the upward pressure on mortgage rates will remain,” Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American Financial Corporation, told us.
Mortgage rates rose significantly after the inflation report, topping 6% for the first time since 2008. But they don’t correlate directly with the Fed’s benchmark rate, so they may not increase again after this latest hike. .
“If the Fed does what everyone expects them to do, I personally don’t see the 30-year fixed rate increasing,” Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager with the Rueth Team Powered by OneTrust Home Loans, told us. “I think what happened after the CPI report was that reaction baking in.”
What Can Homebuyers Do About Rising Mortgage Rates?
The current housing environment may be especially intimidating for first-time homebuyers, but that doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic to buy. “It’s always a good time to buy a home, if that’s what is important to you. It’s just about doing your research and making good informed decisions,” Eileen Derks, head of mortgage at Laurel Road, told us.
Mortgage rates are significantly higher than they were a year ago which can eat into potential buying power. But on the flip side, home prices are decreasing compared to last year, and the market is significantly less competitive too.
“If you have a job and your credit is fine, you should be able to refinance in a few years. So, there isn’t a ton you need to be worrying over when it comes to a higher interest rate,” Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, told us.
This level of inflation won’t last forever, just longer than any of us would like. In fact, the housing market is already beginning to balance out as it adjusts to regular rate hikes from the Fed. “Be patient, but don’t necessarily be discouraged,” says Kushi.
What Can Homebuyers Do About Rising Home Prices?
According to the latest report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the housing market saw its seventh consecutive month of decreased home sales in August – dropping 0.4% from July and nearly 20% from August 2021.
Home prices are slowly declining, but high mortgage rates might discourage both potential homebuyers and potential sellers. “Homeowners are going to be rate-locked into their homes and buyers might be hesitant to enter the market,” says Kushi.
85% of homeowners with mortgages have an interest rate well below 6%, according to a Redfin analysis of Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) data. This could influence housing supply as some homeowners are reluctant to move “because selling their home and buying another could mean giving up their low mortgage rate,” in exchange for a higher monthly payment, according to Redfin.
Kushi describes this phenomenon as “the golden handcuffs of low mortgage rates.”
“The most important thing that any would-be homebuyer should do is take stock of where they are personally,” Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst at LendingTree, told us. “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, September 28, 2022 according to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.970% with an APR of 6.010%. The average 15-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 6.040% with an APR of 6.080%.
Current 15-Year Mortgage Rates
|30-Year Fixed Rate||6.900%||6.920%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||6.140%||7.010%|
|30-Year VA Rate||6.330%||6.540%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.930%||6.940%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||6.840%||6.860%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||6.040%||6.080%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.050%||6.070%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||6.220%||6.260%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||5.080%||6.740%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||5.010%||6.490%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||5.960%||6.240%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||6.070%||6.130%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||6.130%||6.240%|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||6.860%||6.880%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||6.180%||7.040%|
|30-Year VA Rate||6.280%||6.410%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.880%||6.890%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||6.830%||6.860%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||5.970%||6.010%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.000%||6.020%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||6.210%||6.250%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||5.120%||6.890%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||4.900%||6.930%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||5.930%||6.290%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||6.070%||6.140%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||6.100%||6.270%|
Rates as of Wednesday, September 28, 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.