Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their average rates go up this week. The average rate on 10-year fixed refinance didn’t change.
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 nearly 11 consecutive rate hikes, the Fed took a pause during its Sept. 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 rate for a 30-year fixed refinance loan is currently 7.97%, an increase of 11 basis points from what we saw 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
The average 15-year fixed refinance rate right now is 7.04%, an increase of 13 basis points from what we saw the previous week. Refinancing to a 15-year fixed loan from a 30-year fixed loan will likely raise your monthly payment. However, you’ll also be able to pay off your loan quicker, saving you money over the life of the loan. You’ll also typically get lower interest rates compared to a 30-year loan. This can 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 6.88%, unmoved compared to one week ago. Compared to a 15- or 30-year refinance, a 10-year refinance will usually have a lower interest rate but higher monthly payment. A 10-year refinance can be a good deal, since paying off your house sooner will help you 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.
Depending on incoming inflation data, the Fed may hold rates where they are for a while, but the central bank is far from cutting rates. The cumulative effects of the Fed’s policy decisions will take months to work its way through the economy.
We track refinance rate trends using information collected by Bankrate. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the country:
Average refinance interest rates
|Product||Rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed refi||7.97%||7.86%||+0.11|
|15-year fixed refi||7.04%||6.91%||+0.13|
|10-year fixed refi||6.88%||6.88%||N/C|
Rates as of Sept. 29, 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.
Is now a good time to refinance?
Most people refinance because the market interest rates are lower than their current rates or because they want to change their loan term. 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.