15 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
Compare today's current mortgage and refinance 15 year fixed interest rates.
When shopping around for a shorter-term mortgage, the 15-year fixed rate may be a great compromise. Long enough to keep payments from being astronomical but offering attractive interest rates, the 15-year mortgage product bridges the gap between saving money in interest and low payments associated with a traditional 30-year mortgage. Paying your mortgage off in double speed (compared to the 30-year fixed mortgage), you can quickly build equity with this powerhouse loan. This mortgage is a true fast-track to ownership but may not be for everyone. Let’s delve into this high performance loan product.
What is a 15 year fixed-rate mortgage?
The 15 year fixed-rate mortgage is a home loan which maintains the same interest rate and monthly payment for the life of the loan. This is one of the shortest terms offered by lenders and offers an excellent rate for fixed mortgages. Not as popular as the 20- and 30-year terms, but for those willing to put a larger amount of money down or refinancing, this could be a great way to build quick equity if you know you will be selling your home sooner than the average of 7 years.
Important interest rate factors:
- FICO score. Your personal financial “reputation” is reflected in your FICO score. A rating of 700+ is considered a good score.
- Mortgage use. Typically refinance mortgages are slightly higher than purchases.
- Property Use. Lenders are eager to offer the best rates for primary homes, with higher interest rates for second homes and rental properties.
- LTV (loan-to-value) Ratio. When borrowing a higher percentage of the home’s purchase price or value, the interest rate is generally higher (banks see you as a higher risk).
- Jumbo vs. Conforming Loans. Jumbo loans exceed the conforming lending limits set by the federal government. Only the highest qualified borrowers are eligible for a Jumbo loan.
- Location. Local economic factors can affect mortgage interest rates. A stronger economy means a stable real estate market and lower interest rates, where a less stable economy and real estate market could equate to a higher risk for foreclosure and thus, higher interest rates.
- Buydown. When borrowers put money down up front to lower the interest rate, they can save thousands of dollars. This option isn’t always the best choice and one to discuss with your lender.
The proof is in the details – Interest rate vs. APR (there is a difference):
You will see these terms and may believe they are the same, used interchangeably. But the truth is that they are different, and that difference adds up to additional dollars out of a borrower’s pocket.
- Interest Rate. This is the percentage you pay to borrow money from your lender, paid in installments over the set life of the loan. At the end of your loan (whether you pay it off at the maturity or at any point during the loan), you will pay the principal (the amount you borrowed) and the interest which has accumulated. As you pay your principal balance down, the amount of the payment which is principal and interest is skewed, allowing you to pay more towards your principal with each payment, called mortgage amortization.
- APR (annual percentage rate). This reflects the interest rate (see above) plus the fees and expenses which come with your loan, like private mortgage insurance, any prepaid interest, or other fees you paid to the lender which are rolled into this amount. This number, therefore, will be slightly higher, and is a more accurate rate of the interest you pay. Law requires your lender to provide this information on both your loan estimate and your closing disclosure.
Is a 15-year fixed rate mortgage right for you?
Quicker Loan Repayment. The biggest benefit to a 15-year fixed mortgage, borrowers pay off their mortgage in a relatively brief period of time.
Reduced interest over the lifetime of the loan. By paying more in each monthly payment, interest is significantly less as the principal of the loan is reduced quickly.
Build equity quickly. As borrowers make payments, the interest drops and more of your payment is applied to the principal balance, allowing you to build equity quickly and increase your home ownership.
Significantly higher mortgage payments compared to 30-year loan. Since the loan term is half as long as the 30-year mortgage, borrowers will see a significantly larger monthly payment. This can be a challenge on tight budgets.
Less wiggle room could be financially stifling. The larger payments found with a 15 year fixed mortgage can take a sizable chunk out of your monthly income, restricting your spending ability.
Restricted home purchase budget. Some borrowers who are considering a 15-year mortgage may find themselves in a quandary, as the higher monthly payments mean a small (and less expensive) home is all they can afford. You may struggle to find a home that fits your lifestyle AND budget with a short term loan like the 15-year fixed.
A typical 15-year fixed mortgage consumer
Like the 10-year loan consumer, the 15-year fixed mortgage customer is looking for the opportunity to get out from under a mortgage in a shorter period and is willing to tighten the budget in other areas to make it happen. Alternatively, the 15-year is also a smart choice for those who want to re-invest in their home for renovations or to take advantage of a competitive interest rate. If you are considering moving to a short-term mortgage like the 15-year fixed, be sure to shop around and compare lenders, including their closing costs and fees, as they may impose steeper costs/fees for refinance and shorter-term loans.
Start the process for a 15 year fixed mortgage today
Start the process for either a purchase or refinance 15 year fixed mortgage and have a licensed loan officer contact you for a custom quote today.
What is a 15 year fixed mortgage?
The 15-year fixed mortgage is a loan which gives you 15 years to pay off the balance at an interest rate which will not change over the 15-year life of the loan. You save half the time (and even more in interest payments) over a typical 30-year fixed mortgage.
How does a 15 year fixed mortgage work?
A popular option for mortgage refinances, a 15-year fixed mortgage provides a set payment (usually monthly) for the lifetime of the loan—in this situation, for 15 years. The interest rate is locked in at the time you obtain the mortgage, and cannot increase (or decrease), no matter the change in rates offered by lenders later. It usually comes with a lower interest rate than its 30- and 20-year counterparts.
Is a 15 year fixed mortgage loan a good idea?
The 15-year mortgage comes with some nice perks—and some caveats. Paying the loan off in 15 years means you are building equity quickly, and also brings a very competitive interest rate. However, you must be able to budget the big monthly payment that comes along with it. This often equates to a smaller loan for many purchasers, as well as less money for other potential debts.
Lock in your 15 year fixed rate today
With a wide variety of financing options a loan officer can help you find and lock in the best 15 year fixed rate for purchasing a home or refinancing your existing mortgage. Contact us to get started today!
15-year fixed mortgage rates change daily and are determined by 5 major driving factors which you can control: Property type and use, loan-to-value ratio, your FICO score, and whether you are purchasing or refinancing the mortgage.
Getting the lowest 15-year fixed jumbo refinance rate depends on 4 main elements: the refinance type (rate/term or cash out), the amount of equity you have in the property, any second mortgages, liens or subordinate financing you already have, and your financial report card.
Jumbo (loan amount >$548,250) 15-year fixed rates are typically higher than conforming loans. This process should also include comparing loan estimates, having a 740+ FICO score, 60% (or less) loan-to-value, and the property being your primary residence.
Conforming (loan amount <$548,250) 15-year fixed rates are typically lower than jumbo loans. This process should also include comparing loan estimates, having a 740+ FICO score, 60% (or less) loan-to-value, and the property being your primary residence.