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Review current home equity loan rates for January 23, 2018 and get personalized mortgage quotes from top lenders
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Mortgage Rates by Loan Product
Mortgage Rate ReportTuesday, January 23, 2018
Mortgage rates were mixed on the week although they seem to be gradually moving higher in response to the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates in its December meeting. The Fed highlighted continued job growth, declining unemployment, expanding household spending and increasing business investment in its decision to increase the key Federal Funds rate by .250% to 1.250% to 1.500%. From the Fed's perspective, the positive labor and economic indicators outweighed lower than targeted inflation to justify the interest rate hike, which was widely anticipated.
Although mortgage rates surprisingly dropped immediately after the Fed's announcement, the dip was short lived and we have seen rates move moderately higher over the course of January. A string of positive labor market reports combined with the continued strength of the stock market has pushed treasury yields higher, with mortgage rates responding in similar fashion. While mortgage rates continue to be attractive, they have rebounded from their post Fed meeting lows and rates were flat or higher this week, depending on the loan program.
The interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage held steady at 3.875% and the interest rate for a 15 year mortgage also remained flat at 3.125%. The interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was stable at 3.250%, remaining attractive to borrowers seeking shorter-term mortgage programs. Jumbo mortgage rates also stayed put at 4.000% after increasing last week. On the flip side, non-owner occupied mortgage rates rose 0.125% for the second week in a row to 4.250%. FHA mortgage rates and VA mortgage rates also climbed with FHA rates increasing 0.250% to 3.500% and VA rates rising 0.125% to 3.375%. Although both FHA and VA mortgage rates inched higher, the programs remain appealing to borrowers focused on low or no down payment loan options, especially first-time home buyers.
The Federal Reserve's decision to increase interest rates was anticipated and although mortgage rates dropped briefly they have since followed the Fed's lead and moved higher in January. With the Fed reinforcing its outlook for multiple anticipated interest rate hikes in 2018 and economic momentum continuing to build to start the year, prospective borrowers looking to buy a home or refinance their mortgage may be able to lock in a lower mortgage rate by acting sooner rather than later, before interest rates rise, potentially at an accelerated pace.
Because mortgage rates fluctuate daily, we continue to actively monitor the mortgage market for updates. Borrowers should check the FREEandCLEAR mortgage rate tables regularly to review customized, updated mortgage rates for lenders in their area. Our rate tables are free to use and require no personal information.
Why Select a Home Equity Loan or HELOC
Only Access the Amount of Money You Need.
A home equity loan or HELOC enables you to access the specific amount of money you need as compared to a full refinance of your mortgage. A smaller loan amount means that your monthly payment and total interest expense over the life of the loan are lower with a home equity loan or HELOC.
Flexible Financing Option.
Most lenders impose relatively few limits on how borrowers use the proceeds from a home equity loan or HELOC. You can use the money from a home equity loan or HELOC for any number of reasons including to pay-off expensive credit card debt, for home improvements or even school tuition. Although most lenders want to understand how you plan on using your loan proceeds, a home equity loan or HELOC provides you significant flexibility on how you use the equity in your home.
Less Expensive and More Efficient than a Refinance.
A home equity loan or HELOC are less costly and time-consuming compared to alternate ways of tapping the equity in your home including a cash-out refinance. Transaction expenses and fees for a home equity loan or HELOC are typically less than the closing costs to refinance your mortgage because the loan amount is smaller. Additionally, the application and closing process for a home equity loan or HELOC are shorter than the time frame for a refinance.
Increased Borrowing Capacity.
Lenders typically apply a higher borrower debt-to-income ratio for a home equity loan or HELOC than for a mortgage, which potentially enables you to borrower more money. For example, depending on multiple factors, the maximum debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage is typically 45% to 50% while the maximum debt-to-income ratio for a home equity loan or HELOC is usually 55% or possibly higher under certain circumstances. Using a higher debt-to-income ratio enables you to borrow more money. With a home equity loan or HELOC, to determine what size loan you qualify for lenders primarily focus on the value of your home and the combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio of your first mortgage plus your home equity loan or HELOC.
Why Borrowers Compare Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
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More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Understand how a home equity loan works including interest rate, qualification requirements and other key loan terms
Review our comprehensive overview of of how a HELOC works including loan-to-value ratio limits, types of HELOC and other guidelines
Review our detailed comparison of a home equity loan and a HELOC to determine the financing option that is right for you
Review an informative explanation of the trade-offs between a home equity loan and a mortgage refinance