Today's mortgage and refinance rates: April 13, 2021 | Rates go down

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Mortgage and refinance rates are down since last Tuesday. With the exception of 7/1 ARM rates, all rates have increased since this time last month.

If you’re ready to buy a home or refinance, you may want to go with a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable rate. Fixed rates are starting much lower than adjustable rates, and you’ll lock in a low rate for the entire life of your loan. With an ARM, you’d risk your rate increasing later.

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Rates will probably stay low for a while, so you may not need to hurry to buy to take advantage of low rates. But if you know you want to buy soon, you may want to start the process of applying for preapproval and locking in a rate. According to a study by Redfin, over half of homes in the US are selling in two weeks or less right now. So you’ll want to move fast once you’re ready to buy.

Mortgage rates for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.58%
30-year fixed3.53%
7/1 ARM4.34%
10/1 ARM4.37%

Rates from Money.com

Learn more and get offers from multiple lenders.»

You can lock in a 15-year fixed mortgage rate under 3% today, and a 30-year fixed rate under 4%.

We’re providing the national average rates for conventional mortgages, which might be what you think of “normal mortgages.” You could get a lower rate on a government-backed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

Refinance rates on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.88%
30-year fixed3.85%
7/1 ARM4.60%
10/1 ARM4.95%

Rates from Money.com

Click here to compare offers from refinancing lenders »

Refinance rates tend to be a little higher than purchase rates, but you can still get a 15-year fixed mortgage rate under 3%.

How to get a low mortgage rate

Rates remain low in general, and they have decreased from this point last week. You might prefer to lock in a low mortgage rate while you can, especially if you’ll be ready to buy soon.

But there’s no need to rush to get a low rate if you aren’t ready. Rates will likely stay low for a while, so you still have time to improve your financial standing. Here are a few steps you can take to get the lowest possible rate:

  • Raise your credit score by making timely payments, paying off debts, or letting your credit age. You might want to request and review a copy of your credit report to look for any mistakes that may be tanking your score
  • Save more for a down paymentThe minimum amount needed for your down payment will depend on which type of mortgage you want. You have an increased likelihood of netting a better interest rate from your lender with a higher down payment.
  • Lower 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 want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less. To better your ratio, pay down debts or search for opportunities to boost your income.
  • Choose a government-backed mortgage. If you’re eligible, you may want to think about a USDA loan (designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (aimed at military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). Government-backed mortgages often come with better interest rates than conventional mortgages. As a bonus, down payments aren’t needed for USDA or VA loans.

You can lock in a low rate now if your finances are looking good, but you don’t need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not prepared.

Mortgage and refinance rate trends

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.58%2.65%2.54%
30-year fixed3.53%3.62%3.44%
7/1 ARM4.34%4.60%4.52%
10/1 ARM4.37%4.98%4.23%

Mortgage rates are down since last Tuesday. Rates have gone up since this time last month, with the exception of 7/1 ARM rates.

Refinance rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.88%2.97%2.84%
30-year fixed3.85%3.91%3.76%
7/1 ARM4.60%4.83%4.81%
10/1 ARM4.95%5.15%4.74%

Mortgage refinance rates have decreased since this time last week, but most have increased since last month.

15-year fixed rates

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you a decade and a half to pay down your mortgage, and your interest rate will stay constant the whole time.

You’ll fork over more per month with a 15-year term than a 30-year term because you’re repaying the same mortgage principal in half the time. 

However, a 15-year fixed mortgage will cost less overall than a 30-year fixed mortgage. It will take you fewer years to pay off your mortgage and you’ll get a lower interest rate to boot. 

30-year fixed rates

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is similar to a 15-year mortgage, except you’ll pay off the mortgage over 30 years.

You’ll pay a higher interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage than on 15-year mortgages. For a long time, you’d also pay a higher rate on a 30-year fixed loan than on an ARM. But right now, 30-year fixed rates the better deal.

Monthly payments are lower for 30-year terms than for shorter terms, because you’re spreading payments out over a longer period of time.

You’ll pay more in interest in the long term with a 30-year term than you would for a shorter term, because a) the rate is higher, and b) you’ll be paying interest for longer.

Adjustable rates

A fixed-rate mortgage secures your rate for your whole loan period. But with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll pay a locked-in rate for the introductory period, then that rate will change periodically. A 7/1 ARM keeps your rate the same for seven years. Then your rate will vary annually.

Although ARM rates are relatively low now, you may still prefer a fixed-rate mortgage. The 30-year fixed rates are equal to or lower than ARM rates, so it could be a great opportunity to secure a low rate with a fixed mortgage. This way, you won’t risk a future rate increase with an ARM. 

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

You can lock in a low rate today, but make sure you’re ready financially before you act. 

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

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

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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.

See the mortgage rates for Monday, April 12 2021 »

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