Tue. May 17th, 2022
Mortgage refinance rates for Feb. 28, 2022: Rates ratchet higher
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Several benchmark mortgage refinance rates ticked up today. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their average rates trend upward. At the same time, average rates for 10-year fixed refinances remained steady. Although refinance rates are dynamic, they are still relatively low, though projected to go up. Because of this, right now could be a good time for homeowners to secure a good refinance rate. Make sure to first take into account your personal goals and circumstances before getting a refinance, and compare offers to find a lender who can best meet your needs.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

The average 30-year fixed refinance rate right now is 4.21%, an increase of 4 basis points from what we saw 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. Because of this, a 30-year refinance can be a good idea if you’re having trouble making your monthly payments. Be aware, though, that interest rates will typically be higher compared to a 15-year or 10-year refinance, and you’ll pay off your loan at a slower rate.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The average rate for a 15-year fixed refinance loan is currently 3.44%, an increase of 5 basis points compared to one week ago. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. On the other hand, you’ll save money on interest, since you’ll pay off the loan sooner. 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

The current average interest rate for a 10-year refinance is 3.39%, unmoved 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 faster and save on interest in the long run. 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 increase interest rates. 

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 US:

Average refinance interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed refi 4.21% 4.17% +0.04
15-year fixed refi 3.44% 3.39% +0.05
10-year fixed refi 3.39% 3.39% N/C

Rates as of Feb. 28, 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.

Generally, you’ll want a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of making consistent and on-time payments in order to get the best interest rates. Researching interest rates online is always a good idea, but you’ll need to connect with a mortgage professional to get your exact refinance rate. And don’t forget about fees and closing costs which may cost a hefty amount upfront.

You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. As such, you may not qualify for a refinance — or a low rate — if you don’t have a solid credit rating.

Before applying for a refinance, you should make your application as strong as possible in order to get the best rates available. The best way to improve your credit ratings is to get your finances in order, use credit responsibly, and monitor your credit regularly. You should also shop around with multiple lenders and compare offers to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

When should I refinance?

Most people refinance because the market interest rates are lower than their current rates or because they want to change their loan term. 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.

A refinance may not always make financial sense. Consider your personal goals and financial circumstances. How long do you plan on staying in your home? Are you refinancing to decrease your monthly payment, pay off your house sooner — or for a combination of reasons? 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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