A few closely followed refinance rates declined again today, as they have been since the start of this week. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their mean rates drop. In addition, the average rate on 10-year fixed refinance also sank.
Though refinance rates do fluctuate slightly on a daily basis, homeowners can expect to see rates rise over the course of this year. In recent months, rates have been trending up from historic lows seen during the pandemic, and are now closer to 2018 rate levels. That means if you’re looking to shave dollars and interest off your current monthly mortgage payments, these could be the lowest rates of 2022. Make sure to think about your goals and circumstances, and compare offers to find a lender who can meet your needs.
30-year fixed-rate refinance
The current average interest rate for a 30-year refinance is 5.33%, a decrease of 20 basis points over this time last week. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) One reason to refinance to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term is to lower your monthly payment. If you’re having difficulties making your monthly payments currently, a 30-year refinance could be a good option for you. In exchange for the lower monthly payments though, rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than 15-year and 10-year refinance rates. You’ll also pay off your loan slower.
15-year fixed-rate refinance
The average rate for a 15-year fixed refinance loan is currently 4.68%, a decrease of 15 basis point from what we saw the previous week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. But you’ll save more money over time, because you’re paying off your loan quicker. 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 4.65%, a decrease of 14 basis points from what we saw the previous week. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to make sure you’ll be able to afford the higher monthly payment.
Where rates are headed
At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates dropped to historic lows, but now interest rates are hovering around pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Reserve recently raised rates for the second time in 2022, and plans to increase them several more times throughout the year. Given this policy, along with strong economic growth and inflation, which reached its highest in four decades, rates are expected to keep going up this year. While there have been some temporary dips in interest rates, it’s impossible to predict when another drop might occur. That means it’s a good idea to try to take advantage of refinancing now and lock in a decent rate.
We track refinance rate trends using data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the US:
Average refinance interest rates
|30-year fixed refi||5.33%||5.53%||-0.20|
|15-year fixed refi||4.68%||4.83%||-0.15|
|10-year fixed refi||4.65%||4.79%||-0.14|
Rates as of May 20, 2022.
How to find the best refinance rate
When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.
Having a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can generally 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. And don’t forget about fees and closing costs which may cost a hefty amount upfront.
You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. This means that if you don’t have great credit ratings, you might not be able to take advantage of lowered interest rates — or qualify for a refinance in the first place.
Before applying for a refinance, you should make your application as strong as possible in order to get the best rates available. You can do that by monitoring your credit, taking on debt responsibly, and getting your finances in order before applying for a refinance. Also be sure to compare offers from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate.
When to consider a mortgage refinance
Generally, it’s a good idea to refinance if you can get a lower interest rate than that your current interest rate, or if you need to change your loan term. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.
A refinance may not always make financial sense. Consider your personal goals and financial circumstances. How long do you plan on staying in your home? Are you refinancing to decrease your monthly payment, pay off your house sooner — or for a combination of reasons? Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.
Note that some lenders have tightened their requirements since the beginning of the pandemic. If you don’t have a solid credit score, you may not qualify for the best rate. 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.