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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.
Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage
Lower Your Interest Rate.
As a rule of thumb, if you are refinancing, your new interest rate should be at least .75% lower than your existing interest rate to justify the refinance closing costs (if any). Additionally, your lower monthly mortgage payment should enable you to recover your mortgage closing costs, or breakeven, within two and a half years. Refinance mortgage rates tend to be slightly lower than home purchase loan rates which can help borrowers save money on their mortgage.
Reduce Your Mortgage Term.
Shortening your mortgage term when you refinance allows you to lower your mortgage rate. For example, the interest rate on a 15 year mortgage is typically .5% - 1.0% less than the interest rate on a 30 year mortgage. A mortgage with a shorter term and lower interest rate results in significantly less total interest expense over the course of the mortgage. For example, a $250,000 15 year mortgage with a 2.750% interest rate saves a borrower approximately $100,000 in total interest expense as compared to a 30 year mortgage with a 3.500% interest rate.
Change Your Mortgage Program.
Refinancing your mortgage also enables you to change your mortgage program. For example, borrowers with an adjustable rate mortgage or interest only mortgage may refinance into a fixed rate mortgage if they are concerned interest rates will increase in the future. Alternatively, borrowers could decide to refinance a fixed rate mortgage into an adjustable rate mortgage to lower their current interest rate or if they believe interest rates will decline in the future.
Take Cash Out of Your Home.
Borrowers can use a cash-out refinance to access the equity in their homes. With a cash-out refinance your new mortgage amount is greater than your current mortgage balance and you keep the difference, less any closing costs, when the refinance closes. Borrowers can use the proceeds from a cash-out refinance for a multitude of purposes including to pay for a remodeling project or college tuition. Please note that refinance mortgage rates for cash-out loans are usually higher than for standard refinancings.
Why Borrowers Compare Refinance Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
Comparing refinance mortgage rates can save you thousands. Use our rate tables to find the lender offering the lowest rates and fees
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Review refinance mortgage rates from leading lenders. Our lenders offer highly competitive terms to win your mortgage business
More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Our Mortgage Refinance, Cash-Out, Debt Consolidation or Bi-Weekly refinance calculators enable you to evaluate different refinance scenarios and determine how much money you can save by refinancing
Our comprehensive mortgage refinance guide takes you through the refinance process from start to finish
Refinancing your mortgage is only one option for taking cash out of your home. We review all your cash-out alternatives and provide pros and cons so that you can select the option that is right for you
Make sure all your questions are answered before you start the refinance process. Submit your refinance queries to the FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert and receive a thorough answer within 24 hours