Personal finance

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: March 2, 2021 | Rates increase

Since last Tuesday, all mortgage and refinance rates have gone up. On the bright side, they are still at historic lows.

Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, told Insider that you’re likely to get a better deal with a fixed-rate mortgage than with an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Ishbia said adjustable rates are starting higher than fixed rates, and you gamble on a future ARM rate increase. You might consider securing a low rate while possible.

Rates from

Since last week, both fixed and adjustable mortgage refinance rates have ticked up moderately. You can lock in an ARM refinance rate under 5%.

Overall, refinance rates remain at all-time lows. Low rates frequently signify an economy in distress. Refinance rates will probably stay low as the US continues to face the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rates from

Mortgage rates have gone up in both the past week and the past month, though they are still at striking lows. Rates on 15-year fixed mortgages have gone up 11 basis points since last Tuesday.

We’re showing you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider “standard mortgages.” Government-backed mortgages through the FHA, VA, or USDA may offer lower rates, provided you’re qualified.

Today may be a great time to lock in a low mortgage rate, even though all fixed and adjustable mortgage rates have surged since last week. All rates remain at historic lows.

However, it would be best if you didn’t worry about a rate increase soon. Rates will probably remain low for the coming months, if not years. There’s no need to hurry to get a mortgage or refinance. You have the opportunity to better your financial standing and get an improved rate.

  • Increase your credit score. You may consider making timely payments, paying off your debts, or allowing your credit to age. You’ll receive a better interest rate with a higher score, and many lenders will offer you a reduced rate with a score of at least 700.
  • Save more for a down payment. You may be able to put down as little as 3% if you’re aiming to get a conventional mortgage, but the smallest amount will depend on which type of mortgage you want. You’ll likely get an improved rate 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. You can improve your rate by lowering your ratio. To better your ratio, pay down debts or search for chances to boost your income.
  • Choose a federally-backed mortgage. Qualified borrowers might 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). These loans frequently come with lower interest rates than conventional mortgages. Additionally, a down payment isn’t required for USDA or VA loans.

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

If you take out a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you 15 years to pay off your mortgage, and you’ll pay the same interest rate the whole time.

A 15-year term will cost less than a 30-year fixed mortgage. It will take you half the time to pay off your mortgage and you’ll get a lower interest rate as well.

However, you’ll fork over more per month with a 15-year term than a 30-year term because you’re paying off the same loan principal in half the time.

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your loan over three decades, and you’ll pay a locked-in interest rate the entire period.

You’ll pay more total interest with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term because you’re doling out a higher interest rate for an extended period.

On the bright side, you’ll cough up smaller monthly payments with a 30-year fixed mortgage than a 15-year fixed mortgage because you are spreading your payments out over more years.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, often called an ARM, will lock in your rate for a set period. Then your rate will change frequently. A 10/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for a decade, then your rate will fluctuate once per year.

You might prefer a fixed-rate mortgage over an ARM, even though ARM rates are now at striking lows. The 30-year fixed rates are equal to or lower than ARM rates, so it could be a good opportunity to secure a low rate with a fixed mortgage. Additionally, you won’t risk an ARM rate increase in the future.

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.

Ensure you have a secure financial situation before getting a mortgage or refinancing. You still have time to rectify your financial portfolio, as rates will likely stay low for a while.

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

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.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages 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.

See the mortgage rates for Tuesday, March 2 »

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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Overall, refinance rates remain at all-time lows. Low rates frequently signify an economy in distress. Refinance rates will probably stay low as the US continues to face the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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