Mortgage rates fall in April
Anyone out to buy or refinance a home this month will find that current mortgage rates are slightly higher than they were at this time last April.
But rates are down more than a quarter of a percentage point from last month.
Don't be lulled into a fall sense of security, though. Experts are saying that rates on mortgages are poised to move higher soon.
That means it's best to shop for a mortgage now, even though mortgage rates are still historically low.
The average interest rate on a conventional 30-year fixed-rate home loan is 3.95%, about a quarter of a percentage point higher than it was at this time last year.
Remember, that's the average cost of financing a home. Savvy borrowers with decent credit can almost always pay a quarter to half of a point less.
Spend a few minutes searching our extensive database for the best current mortgage rates from dozens of lenders in your area. You'll see what we mean.
National Average Mortgage Rates
|Type of loan||Current average||Record-low average||Established|
|30-year fixed rate||3.95%||3.50%||Dec. 5, 2012|
|15-year fixed rate||3.48%||2.75%||May 1, 2013|
|30-year fixed jumbo||4.46%||3.54%||Sept. 7, 2016|
|5/1 ARM||3.45%||2.63%||May 1, 2013|
The importance of comparison shopping
A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that nearly half of Americans seriously consider only one lender or broker before applying for a mortgage. And about 75% fill out an application with only one lender.
We need to be doing more comparison shopping than that, especially when interest rates begin to rise. Comparison shopping for a great rate can save you thousands — hundreds of thousands in some cases — over the life of the loan.
RATE SEARCH: Compare the best mortgage rates.
Where mortgages rates are headed
The Federal Reserve is expected to withdraw any support of the mortgage market this year, causing mortgage costs to steadily increase.
While rates are on the rise, home loans are becoming easier to get.
Homebuyers who qualified for conventional loans had an average FICO credit score of 763 in 2012, according to Ellie Mae.
By 2015, that had fallen to 754, and that's about where it remained for all of last year.
The average FICO score for homeowners who refinanced through a conventional loan fell from 748 at the end of 2012 to 739 at the end of 2016.
In February 2017, that moved to 728 for a conventional refinance, 752 for a purchase.
FHA loans clearly helped borrowers with too much debt and lower credit scores.
The average FICO score for those homebuyers fell from 718 at the end of 2012 to 686 at the end of 2016. In February 2017, it was at 686 for an FHA purchase and 649 for a refinance.
Those are exactly the kinds of trends that help borrowers land the loans they need.
RATE SEARCH: Shop the best mortgage rates.