Refinance rates for Jan. 26, 2022 tick up. What’s that mean for you? – CNET

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Multiple mortgage refinance rates moved up today, causing some homeowners to wonder if it’s too late to refinance. We saw increases in the average rates for 10-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances. With rates expected to rise throughout 2022, now might be a good time to act on a refinance. But make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances, and compare offers to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

The current average interest rate for a 30-year refinance is 3.68%, an increase of 11 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) One reason to refinance to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term is to lower your monthly payment. If you’re having difficulties making your monthly payments currently, a 30-year refinance could be a good option for you. In exchange for the lower monthly payments though, rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than 15-year and 10-year refinance rates. You’ll also pay off your loan slower.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The current average interest rate for 15-year refinances is 3.01%, an increase of 11 basis points over last week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. But you’ll save more money over time, because you’re paying off your loan quicker. You’ll also typically get lower interest rates compared to a 30-year loan. This can help you save even more in the long run.

10-year fixed-rate refinance

For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 2.98%, an increase of 6 basis points from what we saw the previous week. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. Just be sure to carefully consider your budget and current financial situation to make sure that you can afford a higher monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

We started 2022 with low refinance rates, but there’s been an uptick recently due to two major factors: inflation and economic growth. That said, rates can always rise and fall for many reasons. The spread of omicron, for instance, kept rates low throughout December and the start of the new year. Overall, rates are expected to go up this year, particularly with the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce its bond purchases. 

We track refinance rate trends using information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the country:

Average refinance interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed refi 3.68% 3.57% +0.11
15-year fixed refi 3.01% 2.90% +0.11
10-year fixed refi 2.98% 2.92% +0.06

Rates as of Jan. 26, 2022.

How to shop for refinance rates

When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Market conditions aren’t the only factor in interest rates; your particular application and credit history will also play a large role.

Having a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can generally get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. You should also take into account any fees and closing costs that might offset the potential savings of a refinance.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of lenders have been stricter with who they approve for a loan. If you have a low credit score or a poor credit history, you might have trouble getting a refinance at the lowest interest rates.

One way to get the best refinance rates is to strengthen your borrower application. The best way to improve your credit ratings is to get your finances in order, use credit responsibly, and monitor your credit regularly. Also be sure to compare offers from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate.

Is now a good time to refinance?

In order for a refinance to make sense, you’ll generally want to get a lower interest rate than your current rate. Aside from interest rates, changing your loan term is another reason to refinance. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.

To decide whether a refinance is right for you, consider all of the factors including how long you plan to stay in your current home, the length of your loan term and the amount of your monthly payment. Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.

Note that some lenders have tightened their requirements since the beginning of the pandemic. If you don’t have a solid credit score, you may not qualify for the best rate. Refinancing can be a great move if you get a good rate or can pay off your loan sooner — but consider carefully whether it’s the right choice for you.

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