30-year fixed mortgage interest ratesThe average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.02 percent, dropping 5 basis points over the last seven days. A month ago, the average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was less favorable, at 3.03 percent.At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $422.68 for every $100k you borrow. Compared to a week ago, that’s $2.71 lower. Use our mortgage calculator to approximate your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. The tool will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll fork up over the life of your loan.30-year fixed refi ratesToday’s average refinance rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.18 percent, down 1 basis point over the previous seven days. This time last month, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.13 percent.At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $431.37 for every $100k you borrow. Compared to last week, that’s $0.55 lower. Compared to a month ago, that’s $2.72 higher.Pros and cons of a 30-year fixed mortgageThe 30-year mortgage is the most popular home loan, and it has a number of advantages. Among them:
Lower monthly payment. Compared to a shorter-term mortgage, such as 15 years, the 30-year mortgage offers more affordable monthly payments spread over time.
Stability. With a 30-year mortgage, you lock in a consistent principal and interest payment. Because of the predictability, you can plan your housing expenses for the long term. Keep in mind: Your monthly housing payment can change if your homeowners insurance and property taxes go up or, less likely, down.
Buying power. With lower payments, you can qualify for a larger loan amount and a more expensive home.
Flexibility. Lower monthly payments can free up some of your monthly budget for other goals, like saving for emergencies, retirement, college tuition or home repairs and maintenance.
Strategic use of debt. Some argue that Americans focus too much on paying down their mortgages rather than adding to their retirement accounts. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a lower monthly payment can allow you to save more for retirement.
The 30-year mortgage also has some downsides:
More total interest paid. A 30-year term means you’ll pay more overall in interest compared with what you’d pay with a shorter-term loan.
Higher mortgage rates. Lenders charge higher interest rates for 30-year mortgages compared to 15-year loans. That’s because they’re taking on the risk of not being repaid for a longer time span.
Slower equity growth. The amortization table for a 30-year mortgage reveals a harsh reality: In the early years, almost all of your payments go to interest rather than principal. A 15-year loan brings a higher monthly payment but much faster payoff of the loan amount.
Buying a more expensive house than you should. Just because you might be able to afford more house with a 30-year loan doesn’t mean you should stretch your budget to the breaking point. Give yourself some breathing room for other financial goals and unexpected expenses. Use Bankrate’s home affordability calculator to determine how much house you can afford.
30-year fixed mortgage vs. 15-year fixed mortgage
The most significant drawback of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the amount of interest you’ll pay. Mortgage rates are typically higher for 30-year loans than 15-year loans. Although your monthly payments will be lower for a 30-year loan, you’ll pay much more interest over the life of the loan.
For example, with a 15-year mortgage, you’ll cut your repayment time in half and save significantly on interest in the process. Compare how much interest you’ll pay on 15-year and 30-year loans with Bankrate’s 15-year or 30-year fixed mortgage calculator.
Mortgage lock recommendations
A rate lock guarantees a lender will honor a specified interest rate at a specific cost for a set period. The benefit of a mortgage rate lock is that it protects you from market fluctuations. It also puts pressure on borrowers to make sure they close on homes before the rate-lock period expires. For example, if your lender locks in your rate at 3.75 percent for 45 days and rates jump up to 4 percent within that period, you’ll still get your loan at the lesser rate.
If they choose not to lock in your rate, you’ll have a “floating” rate. That’s not a bad strategy when interest rates are generally falling, but it could be costly in a rising rate environment. For risk-averse people who are looking for a mortgage, a rate-lock is a must. It’s a good idea to ask for a 45-day lock at a minimum; 60 days is even better.
Where rates are headed
Every week, Bankrate asks a panel of mortgage experts where they think mortgage rates will go over the next week. See Bankrate’s Mortgage Rate Trend Index for weekly forecasts.
For the latest rates, lenders nationwide respond to Bankrate’s weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a range of purchase and refinance loans.
Searching for the right mortgage lender? See Bankrate’s lender reviews here.
Read about today’s rates for a variety of loan terms:
Current mortgage rates
Current refinance rates
Shopping for the right lender?
SoFi Mortgage Review
PHH Mortgage Review
Cherry Creek Mortgage Review
Explore other loan types
Mortgage Purchase Rates
Mortgage Refinance Rates
The index above links out to loan-specific pages to help our readers learn more about rates by loan type.
Today’s 30-Year Mortgage Rates
Current 30 Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Mortgage Rates
20-Year Refi Rates
Current 15 Year Mortgage Rates
15-Year Refinance Rates
10-Year Mortgage Rates
10-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
FHA Mortgage Rates
FHA Refinance Rates
VA Loan Rates
VA Refinance Rates
ARM Loan Rates
ARM Refinance Rates
Jumbo Loan Rates
Jumbo Refinance Rates
The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.
To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s on-site rate averages”.