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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.
How to Compare Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
Customize Your Mortgage Search.
Personalize your mortgage search by selecting numerous options in the "Refine Your Search" menu including your location, loan amount, mortgage program and credit score. Understand the difference in mortgage rates between a 15 and 30 year loan. Select the boxes for FHA and VA loans to review rates and fees for these no or low down payment mortgage programs. The lender table provides updated, real-time mortgage rates in response to each selection you make. Plus, our rate tables are free to use so borrowers can run numerous scenarios to evaluate their personalized mortgage options.
Compare Mortgage Rates and Fees.
Use our lender tables to compare current mortgage rates and fees for multiple lenders. Our tables put you in control by enabling you to review rates without providing any personal information. The rate tables also enable you to understand how your estimated monthly mortgage payment changes depending on the interest rate. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate), highlighted in blue, enables borrowers to more easily compare interest rates and fees using a single figure. You can also use our Mortgage Comparison Calculator to compare mortgages with different interest rates and fees to select the loan that is right for you.
Contact Multiple Lenders.
Just like with any other major purchase, you should shop mortgage lenders to find the best offer. Contacting multiple lenders takes a little more time but can save you thousands of dollars. For example, on a $300,000 mortgage, lowering your mortgage rate by .125% saves you almost $8,000 in interest. FREEandCLEAR recommends that you contact four-to-five lenders to find the mortgage with the most attractive terms and our rate tables make the process easy. Simply click on a lender logo or green arrow to be directed to the lender’s web site. You can also use our Personalized Mortgage Quote form to receive personalized loan quotes from multiple lenders.
Select Your Lender.
When you contact lenders request that they provide you a written quote or a Loan Estimate that outlines the key terms of their mortgage proposal including mortgage rate and closing costs. Lenders will ask you some questions regarding your financial profile so that they can confirm the details of their proposal and possibly even pre-approve you for your mortgage. Please note that lenders should not charge you to provide a mortgage proposal. When speaking with lenders request that they not pull your credit report (so your credit score is not negatively impacted), ask them the right questions and make sure they have the relevant experience to close your mortgage. Narrow your options down to a handful of lenders and negotiate the best terms possible. Comparing mortgage proposals, asking the right questions and doing a little negotiating will help ensure that you select the lender that best meets your goals.
Why Borrowers Compare Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
Comparing mortgage rates can save you thousands. Use our rate tables to find the lender offering the lowest rates and fees
Our rate tables put you in control. You can compare lenders anonymously plus you never need to provide your social security number
Review mortgage rates from leading lenders. Our lenders offer highly competitive terms to win your mortgage business
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