Today's mortgage and refinance rates: March 29, 2021 | Rates drop

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Mortgage and refinance rates have dropped over the past week, with all refinance rates dipping by at least six basis points. Rates remain low in general. 

If you’re aiming to buy a home or to refinance, you might want to go for a fixed-rate mortgage, as adjustable rates currently start higher than fixed rates. There’s also the possibility that your rate could increase down the line with an ARM. 

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Mortgage rates on Monday, March 29, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.6% 2.69% 2.6%
30-year fixed 3.52% 3.63% 3.57%
7/1 ARM 4.29% 5.06% 4.61%
10/1 ARM 4.34% 4.9% 4.37%

Rates from Money.com

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Since last Monday, mortgage rates have decreased, with 7/1 ARM rates dropping precipitously by 77 basis points. Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages have remained flat from this point last month. 

We’re showing you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which might be what you think of as “normal mortgages.” You might qualify for an improved rate with a government-backed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

Refinance rates on Monday, March 29, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.91% 3.03% 2.95%
30-year fixed 3.83% 3.89% 3.91%
7/1 ARM 4.65% 5.27% 4.88%
10/1 ARM 4.82% 5.19% 4.81%

Rates from Money.com

Click here to compare offers from refinance lenders »

All refinance rates are down since last Monday. Rates for fixed mortgages are below 4%, and rates have dropped across the board since last month.

Rates are still low overall. Low rates commonly signify an economy in distress. As the US continues to wade through the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates will likely stay low.

Tips to get a low mortgage rate

In general, rates remain low, and they have decreased from this point last week. You might prefer to lock in a low mortgage rate while you can. 

Importantly, there’s no need to rush to get a low rate. Rates will likely stay low for a while, so you still have time to improve your financial standing. Here are a few steps you can take to get the lowest possible rate:

  • Raise your credit score by making timely payments, paying off debts, or letting your credit age. You might want to request and review a copy of your credit report to look for any mistakes that may be tanking your score
  • Save more for a down paymentThe minimum amount needed for your down payment will depend on which type of mortgage you want. You have an increased likelihood of netting a better interest rate from your lender 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. Many lenders want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less. To better your ratio, pay down debts or search for opportunities to boost your income.
  • Choose a government-backed mortgage. If you’re eligible, you may want to think about a USDA loan (designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (aimed at military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). Government-backed mortgages often come with better interest rates than conventional mortgages. As a bonus, down payments aren’t needed for USDA or VA loans.

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

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How 15-year fixed mortgages work

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay a locked-in interest rate on your mortgage over the 15 year loan period. 

You’ll fork over higher monthly payments with a 15-year fixed mortgage than with a 30-year fixed mortgage, because you’re paying down the same mortgage principal in half the time. 

On the bright side, a 15-year term will cost less than a 30-year term. You’ll pay off the mortgage 15 years earlier, and you’ll get a lower interest rate too. 

How 30-year fixed mortgages work

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your loan over 30 years, and your interest rate will be the same for the entire time. A 30-year term comes with a higher interest rate than a shorter term.

You’ll dish out smaller monthly payments with a 30-year term than a shorter term because you’re splitting up your payments over more years. 

However, you’ll pay more total interest with a 30-year fixed mortgage than a 15-year fixed mortgage because you’re paying a higher interest rate for an extended period. 

How ARMs work

A fixed-rate mortgage locks in your rate for your entire loan period. But with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll pay the same rate for a pre-defined period, then that rate will vary periodically. A 7/1 ARM sets your rate for seven years. Then your rate will increase or decrease annually.

Though ARM rates are currently at all-time lows, you may still get the best arrangement with a fixed-rate mortgage. You can secure a low rate for the long haul without gambling on a future ARM rate increase. 

If you’re thinking about getting an ARM, ask 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

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 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.

See the mortgage rates for Monday, March 29 »

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