Mortgage rates slide slightly lower in new survey

House on sheet of bills

Mortgage rates slipped a little this week, according to’s most recent survey of major lenders, remaining close to the record lows reached in early autumn.

A million more borrowers should be able to take advantage of those rates after the federal government announced plans this week to revise a major refinancing program.

Many homeowners could not qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program because they owed far more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.

The retooled program will allow homeowners to refinance no matter how far underwater they are on their current loans, as long as they’ve kept up with the payments.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said the "changes should make a meaningful difference" in the housing market.

An additional 1.6 million homeowners should be able to refinance through HARP over the next two years, Zandi projects, up from just 900,000 who got loans through the program under the old rules.

The new rules should be finalized by Nov. 15 and open to homeowners to apply by December.

Our Oct. 26 survey found the average interest rate for a:

30-year, fixed-rate loan decreased to 4.33% from 4.38% this week. This type of loan cost 4.51% at the same time last year.

15-year, fixed-rate loan held at 3.58% for the second week. In late October 2010, the rate was 3.90%.

30-year, fixed-rate jumbo loan (mortgages that exceed $417,000 to $625,000, depending on the city) held at 4.89% for the second week. Last year, jumbo loans cost 5.10%.

5-year, adjustable-rate loan (home loans on which the initial interest rate remains fixed for the first five years and then changes once a year after that) fell slightly to 3.22% from 3.24%. This type of loan cost 3.67% at this time last year.

Our database of rates can help you find the best deals in your area, including many that are less costly than the national averages.

You can use our calculator to determine the monthly payments for the exact amount you want to borrow with this or any home loan.

It will also provide a month-by-month amortization schedule that shows how much you've reduced your debt and how much you still owe.

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