Today's mortgage and refinance rates: March 7, 2021 | Rates go down

Most mortgage and refinance rates have decreased since last Sunday. It could be a good day to lock in a fixed mortgage rate.

Darrin English, Senior Community Development Loan Officer at Quontic Bank, told Insider fixed-rate mortgages are usually better than adjustable-rate mortgages these days. 

He said fixed rates are starting lower than adjustable rates. And since rates are so low right now, you may want to secure a low rate for the entire life of your loan instead of risking your rate increasing later with an ARM.

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Refinance rates for Sunday, March 7, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.79%2.94%2.58%
30-year fixed3.72%3.9%3.47%
7/1 ARM4.85%5.21%4.51%
10/1 ARM4.76%5.07%4.24%

Rates from

Mortgage refinance rates have decreased since last Sunday but increased since this time last month.

Refinance rates are still at historic lows in general. Low rates typically signify a struggling economy. As the US continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, rates will likely stay low.

Mortgage rates for Sunday, March 7, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.5%2.59%2.33%
30-year fixed3.36%3.49%3.14%
7/1 ARM4.48%4.27%4.05%
10/1 ARM4.19%4.44%3.84%

Rates from

Rates on 15-year fixed, 30-year fixed, and 10/1 adjustable mortgages have gone down since last Sunday. The 7/1 ARM rates have gone up. Mortgage rates are higher today than they were this time last month.

We’re showing you the average rates nationwide for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider “regular mortgages.” You may qualify for a better rate with a government-backed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

How to get a low mortgage rate

Mortgage and refinance rates are at all-time lows, so it could be a good time to lock in a rate.

You don’t necessarily need to rush, though. Rates will likely stay relatively low for months, if not years. You probably have time to boost your financial profile and secure a better rate. Here are some ways to snag the best rate:

  • Increase your credit score by making payments on time, paying down debts, or letting your credit age. You might find any errors that may be tanking your score by requesting and reviewing a copy of your credit report.
  • Save more for a down payment.  You may be able to put down as little as 3% if you’re aiming for a conventional mortgage, but the smallest amount will depend on which type of mortgage you want. You’ll probably get a better 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 improve your ratio, pay down debts or look for ways to increase your income. 
  • Choose a government-backed mortgage. You may think about a USDA loan (for 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). These mortgages often come with lower interest rates than conventional mortgages. Additionally, a down payment isn’t required for USDA or VA loans.

You can lock in 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.

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15-year fixed-rate mortgages

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your mortgage over 15 years, and your interest rate will remain the same the entire time.

You’ll fork over higher monthly payments with a 15-year term than a longer term because you’re paying off the same loan principal in fewer years. 

However, a 15-year term will cost you less than a 30-year term. You’ll get a lower interest rate and you’ll pay off your mortgage in a shorter amount of time. 

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay off your loan over 30 years, and you’ll lock in your interest rate for the entire term. 

You’ll pay less per month with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term because you’re splitting up your payments over more years.  

However, it will cost you more in interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term, as you’re paying a higher interest rate for longer. 

Adjustable-rate mortgages

An adjustable-rate mortgage, commonly known as an ARM, will secure your rate for a set amount of time. Then your rate will fluctuate periodically. A 10/1 ARM locks in your rate for ten years, then your rate will increase or decrease once per year.

Adjustable rates are low these days, but a fixed-rate mortgage may still be the better deal. Fixed rates are starting lower than adjustable rates, and you can lock in a super low rate without risking your rate increasing later 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.

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 Saturday, March 6 »

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