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Review current interest only mortgage rates for August 18, 2018 and get personalized mortgage quotes from top lenders
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Mortgage Rates by Loan Product
Mortgage Rate ReportSaturday, August 18, 2018
Mortgage rates dipped lower for the second consecutive week after the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates unchanged at its August meeting. Although the Fed's statement reflected its more aggressive rate strategy, its move to stay put was widely expected after its June hike. The Fed's concise statement highlighted a strengthening economy including a strong labor market, household spending and business investment. Although some could interpret the use of more hawkish language as paving the way for future interest rate hikes, the mortgage market responded positively to the Fed's decision to hold the target Federal Funds rate at 1.750% to 2.000%.
Bullish telegraphing from the Fed as well as a string of favorable economic news had pushed mortgage rates higher for much of the summer but rates have pulled back the past two weeks, which is positive news for borrowers. Rates dipped last week on the news that the Fed left interest rates unchanged and slid again this week as turmoil in the global currency market led investors to buy U.S. treasuries, pushing yields lower. Lower treasury yields usually translates into lower mortgage rates, which is what happened this week.
The drop in rates may only be temporary in light of recent reports that show a tightening job market, although moderate wage growth could help keep inflation low and benefit mortgage rates. Although the real estate market is facing challenges due to a lack of affordable inventory and other factors, the overall strength of the economy is offering little reason for the Fed to change course which could lead to higher mortgage rates in the future despite the decline we saw this week.
The mortgage rate for a 30 year fixed rate loan slid 0.125% to 4.250% while the rate for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 3.625%. The interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) also declined 0.125% to 3.750%. FHA mortgage rates and VA mortgage rates both held steady at 3.875%, with both programs appealing to borrowers focused on low or no down payment programs, especially first-time home buyers. Jumbo mortgage rates dropped to 4.375% while non-owner occupied mortgage rates remained at 4.625%.
Although the Fed's decision to keep rates unchanged was anticipated, the mortgage market's reaction to the news was pleasantly surprising. After rising moderately over June and July, the drop in mortgage rates is welcome news for borrowers. While interest rates are impossible to predict, prospective borrowers looking to buy a home or refinance may be able to lock in a lower rate by acting sooner rather than later. As lenders react differently to dynamic market conditions, we have also seen greater fluctuations in mortgage rate pricing, which means borrowers benefit more by comparing several lenders.
Because rates change constantly, we continue to actively monitor the mortgage market for new developments. Borrowers should check the FREEandCLEAR rate tables regularly to review personalized, updated mortgage rates for lenders in their area. Our rate tables are free to use and require no personal information.
Why Select an Interest Only Mortgage
Lowest Initial Monthly Payment.
With an interest only mortgage you pay only interest and no principal during the for the first 3, 5, 7 or 10 years of the loan, which is called the interest only period. Additionally, your interest rate is fixed and does not change during the interest only period. Plus, interest only mortgage rates tend to be lower than fixed mortgage rates, depending on the length of the interest only period. Because you are not paying principal during the interest only period, your monthly payment is lower than the payment for an amortizing loan such as a fixed rate mortgage or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), when the borrower pays both principal and interest. The flipside is that at the end of the interest only period, your payment increases because your are required to start paying both principal and interest for the remainder of the loan term, which is usually 30 years. Plus, your interest rate can potentially increase during this period of the loan which would cause your payment to go up even more.
Larger Mortgage Amount.
The lower initial monthly payment provided by an interest only mortgage enables borrowers to afford a higher loan amount and buy more home. Being able to afford for a larger mortgage is one of the main benefits of an interest only mortgage. Borrowers who are enticed by the lower payment and higher mortgage amount offered by an interest only mortgage should also be aware of the possible payment shock in the future. Borrowers need to make sure that they can afford their monthly payment both at the beginning of the mortgage and over time when their payment is highly likely to increase.
Pay Down Principal on Your Terms.
An interest only mortgage enables borrowers to pay down principal based on their schedule as opposed to on a scheduled monthly basis like with a fixed rate mortgage or ARM. Borrowers can elect to pay down principal during the interest only period of the loan, even though they are not required to. When you pay down your principal mortgage balance during the interest only period, your required monthly payment also goes down. The flexibility to pay down principal when you want to makes interest only mortgages well suited for individuals who earn a modest monthly salary but a significant annual bonus. Borrowers in this position benefit from the lower monthly mortgage payments but can use a portion of their bonus to pay down their principal loan balance.
Your Are Going to Own Your Home for a Shorter Time Period.
If you know that you are only going to own your home for the length of the interest only period, then an interest only mortgage may be the right option for you. That way you benefit from the lower monthly mortgage payment during the initial interest only period but you are not exposed to an increase in monthly payment and possibly interest rate at the end of the interest only period when the loan starts to amortize. Keep in mind that with an interest only mortgage, you do not pay down your loan balance during the interest only period and therefore build no equity in your home unless your property value increases.
Why Borrowers Compare Interest Only Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
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More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Our Interest Only Mortgage Calculator enables you to determine your initial monthly payment and worst case scenario for an Interest Only Mortgage using current interest rates
Review our comprehensive overview of how an interest only mortgage works including key loan program terms
Interest only mortgages are the riskiest type of mortgage. Borrowers should review the risks of an interest only mortgage to make sure they understand the serious downsides
Review the pros and cons of the three main types of mortgages (fixed rate, adjustable rate (ARM) and interest only) to select the mortgage type that is right for you