Today's mortgage and refinance rates: April 17, 2021 | Rates drop

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Most mortgage and refinance rates have gone down since last Saturday and since this time last month.

If you’re ready to buy a home or refinance, you may want to go with a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable rate. Fixed rates are starting significantly lower than adjustable rates, and you’ll pay the same low rate for the entire life of your loan. With an ARM, you’d risk paying a higher rate later.

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Mortgage rates will probably stay low for a while, so you don’t need to hurry to take advantage of low rates if you aren’t ready. But if you know you want to buy soon, you may want to start the process of applying for preapproval and locking in a rate. According to a study by Redfin, over half of homes in the US are selling in two weeks or less right now.

By having a preapproval letter in hand when you’re ready to buy, you can move fast when the time comes.

Mortgage rates for Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.54%
30-year fixed3.39%
7/1 ARM4.32%
10/1 ARM4.19%

Rates from

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Mortgage rates are low in general. The highest rate right now is the 7/1 ARM rate, which is 4.32%.

Keep in mind, these are the national average rates for conventional mortgages, which might be what you think of “regular mortgages.” You could get a lower rate on a government-backed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

Refinance rates on Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate today
15-year fixed2.75%
30-year fixed3.71%
7/1 ARM4.60%
10/1 ARM4.87%

Rates from

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You can probably refinance into a 15-year fixed mortgage at under 3%, and a 30-year fixed mortgage at under 4%.

How to get a low mortgage rate

Mortgage and refinance rates are low, so it could be a good day to lock in a rate. But you may not need to rush to get a low rate.

Rates will probably stay low for the foreseeable future. You have time to improve your finances, which could result in a better interest rate. Consider the following steps:

  • Increase your credit score by paying all your bills on time. You could also pay down debts or let your credit age.
  • Save for a larger down paymentYou may need between 0% and 20% for a down payment, depending on which type of mortgage you get. But if you can pay more than the minimum upfront, a lender might reward you with a lower rate.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. The lower your DTI ratio, the better. Consider paying down debts more aggressively to get a better ratio.
  • Pick a government-backed mortgage. If you’re eligible, you may want to get a USDA loan (for low-to-moderate-income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (aimed at military members and veterans), or an FHA loan (not designated for any particular group). These loans often come with lower interest rates than conventional mortgages. As a bonus, you aren’t required to make a down payment for USDA or VA loans.

You can secure a low rate today if your finances are in good shape, but you don’t need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not ready.

Mortgage and refinance rate trends

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.54%2.58%2.61%
30-year fixed3.39%3.53%3.53%
7/1 ARM4.32%4.34%4.69%
10/1 ARM4.19%4.37%4.59%

Mortgage rates have decreased since last Saturday, and since this time last month.

Refinance rate trends

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.80%2.88%2.94%
30-year fixed3.78%3.85%3.84%
7/1 ARM4.74%4.60%4.91%
10/1 ARM5.14%4.95%4.89%

Fixed refinance rates have decreased since last Saturday, but adjustable rates have increased. Most refinance rates have gone down since last month, but 10/1 ARM rates have gone up.

How 15-year fixed mortgage rates work

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay the same interest rate over the 15 years it will take you to pay down your loan.

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

However, you’ll make higher monthly payments with a 15-year fixed mortgage than a 30-year fixed mortgage because you’re paying off the same mortgage principal over fewer years.

How 30-year fixed mortgages rates work

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your mortgage over 30 years, and you’ll have a locked-in interest rate for the life of the loan. A 30-year term comes with a higher interest rate than a shorter term.

Your monthly payments will be smaller with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a 15-year fixed mortgage because you’re dividing up your payments over a longer period.  

However, you’ll pay more total interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term, as you’re paying a higher interest rate for more time.

How ARMs work

An adjustable-rate mortgage, commonly referred to as an ARM, will set your rate for a predefined period. Then your rate will fluctuate periodically. A 10/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for a decade, then your rate will vary annually. 

You may want a fixed-rate mortgage over an ARM, even though ARM rates are now at historic lows. The 30-year fixed rates are equivalent to or lower than ARM rates, so it could be the right time to lock in a low rate with a fixed mortgage. Additionally, you won’t chance an ARM rate increase down the line.

If you’re considering getting an ARM, discuss with 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

Laura Grace Tarpley is an editor 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.

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.

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