Personal finance

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates: March 22, 2021 | Rates increase

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All mortgage and refinance rates have increased since last week, with all mortgage rates rising by at least 10 basis points. However, rates are still at historic lows.

You might consider pursuing a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re hoping to get a mortgage or a refinance. Lately, fixed-rate mortgages are a better deal than adjustable-rate mortgages because ARM rates start higher, and you may face a future rate increase.

Rates from

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Mortgage rates have increased drastically since last week, with 10/1 ARMs going up by 90 basis points. Rates have also gone up from this point last month.

We’re giving you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider “normal mortgages.” Government-backed mortgages through the FHA, VA, or USDA may award you a better rate — given you’re qualified.

Rates from

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Since last Monday, refinance rates for both fixed and adjustable mortgages have risen. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have gone up by a modest 10 basis points.

In general, rates are still at significant lows. Low rates are frequently a signal of a floundering economy. As the US continues to face the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates will probably remain low.

All mortgage and refinance rates have gone up since last week. That said, they’re at all-time lows and you might think about securing a low rate now.

At the same time, you don’t need to fret over a rate increase soon, as rates will likely remain low well into 2021, if not longer. There’s no urgency to get a mortgage or refinance. You have the chance to improve your financial standing and get a better rate.

  • Increase your credit score. You can begin by making payments on time, paying off your debts, or allowing your credit to age. You’ll get an improved interest rate with a higher score, and many lenders will reduce your 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% on a conventional mortgage, but the minimum down payment will be contingent on which type of mortgage you are after. Most lenders reward larger down payments with lower interest rates.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. To improve your ratio, pay down debts or seek ways to increase your income.
  • Go with a government-backed mortgage. You may consider a USDA loan (aimed at low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (for 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. Additionally, down payments aren’t required for USDA or VA loans.

You can lock in a low rate now if your finances are in good shape.

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your mortgage over 15 years and you’ll pay the same interest rate the whole period.

You’ll shell out more per month with a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage because you’ll pay off the same loan principal in half the time.

However, it will be less expensive to take out a 15-year term than a 30-year term. You’ll pay off the mortgage 15 years earlier, and you’ll get a lower interest rate to boot.

If you take out a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your mortgage over three decades, and you’ll pay a locked-in interest rate the entire time. A 30-year term comes with a higher interest rate than a 15-year term.

You’ll fork over smaller monthly payments with a 30-year term than a shorter term because you are dividing up your payments over more years.

However, it will cost you more total 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.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, often called an ARM, will secure your rate for an agreed-upon period and then it will vary regularly. A 7/1 ARM locks in your rate for seven years. Then, your rate will change annually.

ARM rates are now at all-time lows, but you may still prefer to go for a fixed-rate mortgage. You can avoid the stress of a future rate increase and secure a low rate for 15 or 30 years.

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

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 Sunday, March 21 »

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.


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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