The mean rate for a 15-year fixed refinance saw a downtick this week, while 30-year fixed-rate refinances moved higher. The average rate on 10-year fixed refinance declined.
At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates were at historic lows of around 3%. Then, in early 2022, the Federal Reserve stepped in to curb inflation by hiking its key short-term interest rate, the federal funds rate. The Fed doesn’t directly set mortgage rates, but a higher federal funds rate has a ripple effect on all forms of borrowing, including mortgages and refinances.
After hiking rates 11 times, the Fed is expected to take a pause during its September 20 Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Yet because the Fed won’t consider making cuts to its key rate until 2024 at the earliest, experts say mortgage rates are likely to stay elevated for the time being.
About these rates: Like CNET, Bankrate is owned by Red Ventures. This tool features partner rates from lenders that you can use when comparing multiple refinance rates.
If inflation continues to decline and the Fed is able to hold rates steady, mortgage refinance rates should be able to stabilize. But given that refinance rates are now in the 6% to 7% range, it’s unlikely they’ll be returning to the 2% to 3% range. If you purchased a house more than a year ago, you probably won’t be able to save money by refinancing to a mortgage with a lower rate.
Homeowners can’t time the market. Regardless of where rates are headed, you should decide if refinancing makes sense based on your financial situation and goals. As long as you can get a lower interest rate than your current one, refinancing could save you money. If you decide to refinance, make sure to compare rates, fees and the annual percentage rate — which reflects the total cost of borrowing — from different lenders to find the best deal.
30-year fixed-rate refinance
The average 30-year fixed refinance rate right now is 7.78%, an increase of 1 basis point compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Refinancing to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term can lower your monthly payments. Because of this, a 30-year refinance can be a good idea if you’re having trouble making your monthly payments. However, interest rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than rates for a 10- or 15-year refinance. It’ll also take you longer to pay off your loan.
15-year fixed-rate refinance
For 15-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 6.88%, a decrease of 2 basis point from what we saw the previous week. A 15-year fixed refinance will most likely raise your monthly payment compared to a 30-year loan. However, you’ll also be able to pay off your loan quicker, saving you money over the life of the loan. 15-year refinance rates are typically lower than 30-year refinance rates, which will help you save even more in the long run.
10-year fixed-rate refinance
For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 6.86%, a decrease of 1 basis points compared to one week ago. You’ll pay more every month with a 10-year fixed refinance compared to a 15- or 30-year refinance — but you’ll also have a lower interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much faster and save on interest in the long run. But you should confirm that you can afford a higher monthly payment by evaluating your budget and overall financial situation.
Where rates are headed
Mortgage rates move up and down on a daily basis in response to a variety of economic factors, including inflation, policy changes from the Fed and the outlook for the economy more broadly. For most of the summer, refinance rates fluctuated between 6.5% and 7%, but in late August, rates surged above 7%.
The most recent Consumer Price Index shows annual inflation at 3.7% in August, down significantly from its peak at 9.1% in June 2022. Still, consumer price growth remains above the Fed’s 2% year-over-year target rate.
Experts say mortgage rates are unlikely to decrease dramatically any time soon, but positive signaling from the Fed and continued progress on inflation may ease some of the upward pressure on them.
We track refinance rate trends using information collected by Bankrate. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates supplied by lenders across the country:
Average refinance interest rates
|Product||Rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed refi||7.78%||7.77%||+0.01|
|15-year fixed refi||6.88%||6.90%||-0.02|
|10-year fixed refi||6.86%||6.87%||-0.01|
Rates as of September 20, 2023.
How to find personalized refinance rates
It’s important to understand that the rates advertised online often require specific conditions for eligibility. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your specific credit history, financial profile and application.
Having a high credit score, a low credit utilization ratio and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. To get the best refinance rates, you’ll first want to make your application as strong as possible. The best way to improve your credit ratings is to get your finances in order, use credit responsibly and monitor your credit regularly. Don’t forget to speak with multiple lenders and shop around.
Refinancing can be a great move if you get a good rate or can pay off your loan sooner — but consider carefully whether it’s the right choice for you at the moment.
When should I refinance?
In order for a refinance to make sense, you’ll generally want to get a lower interest rate than your current rate. Aside from interest rates, changing your loan term is another reason to refinance. When deciding whether to refinance, be sure to take into account other factors besides market interest rates, including how long you plan to stay in your current home, the length of your loan term and the amount of your monthly payment. And don’t forget about fees and closing costs, which can add up.
As interest rates increased throughout 2022, the pool of refinancing applicants contracted. If you bought your house when interest rates were lower than they are today, there may not be a financial benefit in refinancing your mortgage.
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