Today's mortgage and refinance rates: May 1, 2021 | Rates fluctuate

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Mortgage rates on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today
15-year fixed 2.52%
30-year fixed 3.42%
7/1 ARM 4.32%
10/1 ARM 4.18%
30-year FHA 2.93%
VA mortgage loan 2.74%

Conventional rates from; government-backed rates from RedVentures.

Learn more and get offers from multiple lenders »

The lowest mortgage rate today is the 15-year fixed mortgage rate, which is 2.52%.

Rates for conventional mortgages (which might be what you think of “regular mortgages”) are low overall. But mortgages backed by the FHA and VA usually pay even lower rates, depending on which term length you choose. Government-backed mortgages are great options if you’re eligible to apply.

Refinance rates on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Mortgage type Average rate today
15-year fixed 2.71%
30-year fixed 3.81%
7/1 ARM 4.52%
10/1 ARM 4.80%
30-year FHA 2.89%
VA mortgage loan 2.73%

Conventional rates from; government-backed rates from RedVentures.

Compare offers from refinancing lenders »

Mortgage refinance rates tend to be higher than purchase mortgage rates, but they’re still at all-time lows.

How to get a good mortgage rate

Although mortgage rates have increased a little today, rates overall have been trending downward for a few weeks now. It could be a good time to lock in a low rate.

But if you aren’t ready to buy or refinance yet, you probably don’t have to worry about missing out on great rates. Mortgage rates should stay low for at least a few months. In fact, you may have time to improve your finances to land an even better rate. Consider the following steps:

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  • Improve your credit score by making payments on time or paying down debt. You can request a copy of your credit report to hunt for any mistakes that could be tanking your score.
  • Save more for a down paymentThe smallest down payment you’ll require will be contingent on which type of mortgage you want. But if you can put down more than the minimum you need, you’ll likely get a better rate.
  • Decrease 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 prefer a DTI ratio of 36% or less. To improve your ratio, pay down debts or look for ways to increase your income.

You can secure a low rate now if your finances are in order, but there’s no need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not ready. 

Mortgage and refinance rates trends

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.52% 2.44% 2.65%
30-year fixed 3.42% 3.31% 3.62%
7/1 ARM 4.32% 4.05% 4.64%
10/1 ARM 4.18% 3.85% 4.74%

All mortgage rates have increased since last Saturday. But rates have decreased since the beginning of April, so rates are still trending downward overall.

Refinance rate trends

Mortgage type Average rate today Average rate last week Average rate last month
15-year fixed 2.71% 2.65% 2.97%
30-year fixed 3.81% 3.64% 3.90%
7/1 ARM 4.52% 4.46% 4.90%
10/1 ARM 4.80% 4.51% 5.17%

Refinance rates are higher today than they were last Saturday, but lower than they were April 1.

15-year fixed mortgage rates

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay the same interest rate over the 15 years it will take you to pay down your loan.

A 15-year term will cost less than a 30-year term. You’ll get a lower interest rate and you’ll pay off your mortgage in half the time. 

However, you’ll make higher monthly payments with a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage because you’re paying off the same mortgage principal over fewer years.

30-year fixed mortgage rates

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay the same interest rate over a 30-year loan term. 

You’ll pay more in 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. 

Fortunately, your monthly payments will be smaller with a 30-year term than a 15-year term because you’re dividing up your payments over more years.

Adjustable mortgage rates

An adjustable-rate mortgage, commonly referred to as an ARM, will set your rate for a predefined period. Then your rate will fluctuate periodically. A 10/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for a decade, then your rate will vary annually. 

You may want a fixed-rate mortgage over an ARM, even though ARM rates are now at historic lows. The 30-year fixed rates are lower than ARM rates, so it could be the right time to lock in a low rate with a fixed mortgage. Additionally, you won’t chance an ARM rate increase down the line.

If you’re considering getting an ARM, discuss with your lender what your rates would be if you chose a fixed-rate versus an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Government-backed mortgages

We’ve also provided rates for FHA and VA mortgages, two types of government-backed home loans.

Government mortgages are backed by government agencies. They’re less risky for lenders, because the agency compensates the lender if you default on payments. As a result, lenders usually offer lower rates than they do for conventional mortgages.

These mortgages also have more relaxed requirements when it comes to credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, or down payments.

Government-backed mortgages can be great deals if you’re eligible. Here are your options:

  • FHA mortgage: This type of loan isn’t limited to a certain type of person. But it’s especially useful if your credit score isn’t high enough to get a conventional mortgage.
  • VA mortgage: You may be eligible if you’re an active military member or veteran, or a family member of someone affiliated with the military.
  • USDA mortgage: You’ll qualify if you live in a rural area and earn a low to moderate income.

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below. 

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC
West Virginia

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.

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.

Best Mortgage Rates Today: Saturday May 1, 2021

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