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Current 15-year mortgage rates

A shorter term could save you on interest

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Written by Jennifer Schurman
Edited by Cassidy McCants
real estate agent talking to customer

If you’re a potential homebuyer, you probably have plenty of questions about the path to homeownership. From finding a house to choosing a mortgage lender or broker, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice for you.

One of several things to consider when selecting a mortgage product is the term length. Typically, with a shorter-term mortgage (like a 10-year or a 15-year loan), you’ll have a higher monthly payment but a lower interest rate.

Current mortgage rates

Rates are effective 01/26/2022 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

2.853%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 2.853% is available for a 15-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

3.775%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 3.775% is available for a 15-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

3.053%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 3.053% is available for a 15-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

3.801%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 3.801% is available for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

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Benefits of refinancing to a 15-year mortgage

By refinancing to a 15-year mortgage, you can often take advantage of lower interest rates and pay less in borrowing fees over the life of the loan. Rates continue to remain at levels not seen over the past 40 years.

By refinancing, you pay interest over fewer years and build equity in your home faster. It’s possible your monthly payment could stay around the same or even be reduced. (Usually, however, it results in a higher monthly payment if you're shortening your loan term.)

In deciding whether the monthly payment on a refinance works for you, you might use the 28/36 rule that's recommended by many experts. This rule of thumb advises against mortgage payments and housing expenses higher than 28% of your pretax income and total debt of more than 36% of pretax income. It’s also helpful to have at least three to six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund as well.

15-year mortgage FAQ

The short answer: It depends. Whether it's worth refinancing to a 15-year mortgage varies based on your financial situation and how much you can comfortably afford to pay monthly. You should also consider how long you plan to own your current home — it may not be worth refinancing if you have plans of selling soon. Remember that refinancing does have fees associated with it.

You can always explore your refinance options without locking yourself into an agreement. Gather quotes from reputable lenders and think about how the new monthly payment will impact your budget both now and in the future. When you’re researching options, it’s smart to start with your current mortgage lender, as it may offer incentives (like lower fees) to keep customers who have a history of paying on time.

Lenders set their own mortgage rates. The interest rates they offer depend on factors unique to the applicants, like credit scores, as well external factors, like the actions of the Federal Reserve.
Mortgage rates change daily. Because of this frequent fluctuation, experts warn potential borrowers not to “time the market” or attempt to predict when the best time to buy or refinance a home will be in the future.

Bottom line: Is a 15-year mortgage worth it?

It may make sense to consider a 15-year mortgage when your budget allows for a higher monthly payment without significantly restricting your ability to save and invest in other areas. A 15-year mortgage is a pretty short-term loan, which means you could potentially save quite a bit on interest (though there are ways to make extra payments on a longer-term loan to bring down your principal).

Before you pick a lender and a loan term, think about both your immediate and future financial goals. It’s smart to factor in plans for retirement, debt reduction and other long-term goals.

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