Today’s Mortgage and Refinance Rate: July 18, 2021

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Some mortgage and refinancing rates have been rising since last Thursday, but the increases are not drastic. Some rates have been down since last month, and rates generally remain low.

Mortgage rates will likely stay low for at least a few more months, so you don’t have to rush to take advantage of today’s low rates if you’re not prepared. But if you’re ready to buy or refinance, look for lenders to compare their rates.

Ask each lender for a loan estimate. This is a detailed list of fees that helps you compare what you will pay from one lender to another. Ideally, you would choose a lender that charges both a relatively low rate and a low fee.

Mortgage rates on Sunday July 18, 2021 conventional rates; RedVentures government guaranteed rates.

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The rates for conventional mortgages, which you might think of as “regular mortgages”, are currently low. But you can usually get an even better rate with a government guaranteed mortgage through the FHA or the VA, depending on how long you want. Government mortgages are good options if you qualify.

Refinancing rate on Sunday July 18, 2021 conventional rates; RedVentures government guaranteed rates.

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Adjustable refinancing rates are significantly higher than fixed or government guaranteed refinancing rates.

How to get a low mortgage rate

Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, so this might be a good day to set a rate, especially if you know you want to buy soon.

But rates will likely stay low for a while, so you don’t necessarily have to rush to take advantage of low rates if you’re not quite ready yet. You have time to improve your financial profile, which could help you get an even better rate.

To get the best possible rate, consider these steps before you apply:

  • Increase your credit score by making payments on time, paying off debt, or letting your credit age. The higher your score, the better.
  • Save more for a down payment. The minimum down payment you’ll need depends on the type of mortgage you’re looking for. But if you can make more than the minimum down payment, you’ll likely be rewarded with a higher rate.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay for your debts each month divided by your gross monthly income. Most lenders want your ratio to be 36% or less. To improve your ratio, pay off your debts or find ways to increase your income.

You can get a low rate right now if your finances are healthy, but you don’t have to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not ready.

Mortgage rate trends

Trends in refinancing rates

15-year fixed rate mortgages

A 15-year fixed mortgage locks in your rate for the entire 15 years you spend paying off your mortgage.

A 15-year term comes with higher monthly payments than a longer term because you pay off the same loan principal in fewer years.

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

30-year fixed rate mortgages

If you get a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay a fixed rate for 30 years. A 30-year fixed mortgage has a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed mortgage.

You will make smaller monthly payments over a 30-year term than over a 15-year term because you are spreading your payments over an extended period.

On the other hand, you will pay more interest with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term because you are paying a higher interest rate for more years.


An adjustable rate mortgage, often called an ARM, will lock in your rate for a specified period of time. Then your rate will change regularly. A 7/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for seven years, then your rate will increase or decrease once a year.

You may want to consider choosing a fixed rate mortgage over an ARM, even if ARM rates are currently at their lowest. 30-year fixed rates are lower than ARM rates, so you may want to get a low rate with a fixed mortgage. Plus, you won’t risk a future ARM rate increase.

If you are considering getting an ARM, talk to your lender about your rates if you chose a fixed rate mortgage over an adjustable rate mortgage.

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