Your mortgage rate is one of the most important numbers when it comes to your loan. Your rate determines how much interest you'll pay over the life of your loan and even a half of a percentage point can mean a big difference.

How Rates Affect Your Loan

Your interest rate will have a big effect on how much you pay overall throughout the course of the loan. If you take out a $250,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.5%, you’ll end up paying $154,139.60 in interest over the life of the loan. But if you take the same mortgage out at 3%, you’ll pay $129,443.60 in interest—saving you $24,695.90 over the life of your loan.

Why Rates are Different For Each Type of Loan

Rates differ for each type of loan based on the risk the lenders are taking on. A 30-year loan is more risky for a bank and the bank has to pay additional fees on a 30-year mortgage as opposed to a 15-year mortgage.  An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has more risk than a fixed-rate mortgage for both the lender and the borrower. That’s because a major fluctuation in interest rates can cost either party money during the readjustment period.

What is a Good Mortgage Rate?

Your state and national mortgage rates are a good starting point, but that’s not always the rate that’s available to you. The rate your lender will offer you will also factor in your credit score, how much debt you have, and how big your down payment is. So, a rate that’s a percentage point above the national average might be fantastic for someone with a fair credit score and a big student loan debt, but it might be completely undesirable for someone with excellent credit, no debt, and a big down payment.

So, how do you know you’re getting the best rate possible? Try shopping around at different lenders to find the one that will give you the best rate.

Our Rates Tool

Our rates tool is available below. You can see national rate averages, as well as rates for your current location. You can also customize your rates quote by selecting your loan type, state, and your down payment amount.