Today's mortgage and refinance rates: March 9, 2021 | Rates go up

Most mortgage and refinance rates have increased since last Tuesday. Rates are still at historic lows in general, though.

Darrin English, Senior Community Development Loan Officer at Quontic Bank, told Insider fixed-rate mortgages are often a better option than ARMs these days. Fixed rates were often higher than ARM rates — he said this isn’t the case now.

Currently, ARM rates start higher than fixed rates, and there’s the possibility that your rate will increase in the future. You might think about applying for a fixed-rate mortgage or refinancing soon. 

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Today’s mortgage rates: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.56%2.51%2.33%
30-year fixed3.47%3.43%3.14%
7/1 ARM4.5%4.44%4.08%
10/1 ARM4.3%4.14%3.87%

Rates from Money.com

Mortgage rates have increased since last Tuesday and since this time last month. Rates are still low overall, though.

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

Today’s refinance rates: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Mortgage typeAverage rate todayAverage rate last weekAverage rate last month
15-year fixed2.87%2.83%2.58%
30-year fixed3.83%3.84%3.48%
7/1 ARM4.82%4.85%4.55%
10/1 ARM4.77%4.64%4.26%

Rates from Money.com

Refinance rates haven’t shifted as much as purchase rates since last week. Most refinance rates have increased a little, except the 30-year fixed rates and 7/1 ARM rates, which have decreased slightly. Refinance rates have gone up since last month.

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

Tips for getting a low mortgage rate

Mortgage and refinance rates are at historic lows today, so it could be a good time to apply for a mortgage.

But you don’t necessarily have to rush. Rates will likely stay relatively low well into 2021, if not longer.

Lenders typically reward stronger finances with a lower interest rate. You may have time to improve your situation to lock in a better rate. Consider the following steps:

  • Boost your credit score by paying all your bills on time or paying down debt. You can request a copy of your credit report to check for any mistakes that could be hurting your score.
  • Save more for a down payment. The minimum down payment you’ll need depends on which type of mortgage you want. But if you can place more than the minimum, you’ll probably get a better 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. 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 solid, but you don’t need to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not quite ready.

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15-year fixed mortgage rates

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you 15 years to pay off your loan, and your interest rate will remain constant for your entire term. 

You’ll pay less overall with a 15-year term than a 30-year term. You’ll pay off the mortgage 15 years earlier, and you’ll receive a lower interest rate to boot. 

On the other hand, you’ll fork over more per month with a 15-year fixed mortgage than with a 30-year fixed mortgage, because your ‘re paying off the same loan principal in half the time. 

30-year fixed mortgage rates

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll pay down your loan over 30 years at a constant interest rate. A 30-year fixed mortgage comes with a higher interest rate than a 15-year term.

You’ll pay less per month with a 30-year term than with a shorter term because you’re dividing up your payments over an extended amount of time.

In the long run, you’ll pay more in interest with a 30-year term than a 15-year term because you’re paying a higher interest rate for more years.

Adjustable mortgage rates

With an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll lock in your rate for an agreed-upon amount of time. Then your rate will fluctuate regularly. A 7/1 ARM keeps your rate constant for seven years, then your lender will alter your rate annually. 

ARM rates are currently at all-time lows, but you still may want to go with a fixed-rate mortgage. You can avoid the hassle of a potential future rate increase with an ARM and lock in a low rate for the long term. 

If you’re considering getting an ARM, find out from 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. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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 Tuesday, March 9 »

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