Current 15-Year Mortgage Rates

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How to compare the best 15-year mortgage rates

  1. Use the table below to share your information in each field
  2. Review the available 15-year mortgage rate offers from several lenders
  3. Pick the best offer and start saving

What is a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage?

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is a loan paid in equal installments over 15 years. The lending term for the 15-year period is known as your “loan term,” and a 15-year term usually comes with a higher monthly payment but a lower mortgage rate than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

What is the current outlook on 15-year fixed mortgage rates?

Rates on 15-year mortgages are usually lower than 30-year rates because a faster payoff reduces the lender’s risk that you might default on your payments.

“Fifteen-year, fixed mortgage rates have been somewhat volatile over the last two months,” said Jacob Channel, senior economist for LendingTree. Unless the economy takes a major turn for the worse, you can expect rates to stay somewhere around the 4.5% mark, Channel added.

Checking mortgage rates daily is a good way to save money on closing costs and interest charges over the life of a home loan. Depending on current news and events, 15-year mortgage rates change daily and can even spike or drop hourly.

How 15-year mortgage rates are determined on LendingTree’s platform: Mortgage quotes displayed on LendingTree are based on historical mortgage rate data from offers made to users through the LendingTree system.

Are 15-year mortgage rates going down?

“Lately, 15-year mortgage rates have been yo-yoing up and down — some weeks they’ve fallen, while other weeks they’ve spiked up,” Channel said. Even if rates fall in the coming weeks and months, Channel said buyers shouldn’t expect rates to return to the lows seen in most of 2020 and 2021.

What's the difference between a 15- and 30-year mortgage?

If you’re trying to decide on 15- versus 30-year mortgage rates, there are four things to consider: 

      • How long it takes to pay the loan off
      • Monthly payment, the interest rate and the 
      • Life-of-loan interest costs

The table below provides a quick glimpse of the differences:

Comparing 15-year vs. 30-year mortgages
Loan feature 15-year, fixed mortgage rate 30-year, fixed-mortgage rate
Loan term Repaid over 15 years Repaid over 30 years
Monthly Payment Higher than 30-year Lower than 15-year
Interest rate Lower than 30-year Higher than 15-year
Interest costs Lower than 30-year Higher than 15-year

 

You should choose a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage if you: 

      • Can afford a higher payment
      • Want to pay off your mortgage faster
      • Want a quicker way to build home equity

You should choose a 30-year fixed rate mortgage if you

      • Want the lowest monthly payment possible
      • Need room in your monthly budget for other expenses or savings goals
      • Don’t want to lock yourself into a 15-year payment schedule

Pro tip: A mortgage calculator is a great tool for comparing the cost and benefits of a 15-year versus a 30-year mortgage rate. It even creates a mortgage payment schedule for you, which shows you how much principal and interest you pay every month for the term of each loan.

Pros and Cons of 15-year mortgage rates

A 15-year mortgage puts you on a faster path to a mortgage-free home, but it comes with some drawbacks versus a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

You’ll pay off your loan quicker

Your interest rate will be lower

You’ll save thousands of dollars in interest

You’re locked into a higher payment for the term of the loan

You’ll must refinance if you want to switch back to a lower monthly payment term

Your payment will eat up more of your monthly budget

Refinancing a 15-year mortgage

You can refinance an existing 15-year mortgage rate and replace it with a new lower-rate 15-year loan. The process is essentially the same as any other refinance. Your lender verifies your credit scores, income and equity to ensure you meet the minimum mortgage requirements

However, government-backed refinance loans come with some extra hoops for you to jump through to switch from a 30-year to a 15-year term. 

Conventional rate-and-term refinance. As long as you qualify for the higher payment, swapping your 30-year fixed loan for a 15-year loan should be straightforward.  Just monitor your DTI ratio with the higher payment; conventional guidelines won’t allow total monthly debt including the new mortgage that makes up over 50% of your earnings each month. 

FHA streamline refinance. Lenders approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may offer the FHA streamline refinance option to homeowners with a current FHA loan. You can skip the income docs and an appraisal, but there’s a catch: To switch from a 30-year term to a 15-year mortgage, the refi rate must be lower than what you’re paying now and the new monthly payment can’t increase by more than $50. 

VA IRRRL. Short for “interest rate reduction refinance loan,” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) IRRRL gives military borrowers with a current VA loan a simple way to refinance without documenting income or the hassle of an appraisal. However, if you flip from a long-term to mortgage to a shorter term, your payment can’t rise by 20% or more.

FAQs about 15-year mortgages

There are seven factors that impact the 15-year mortgage rate you’re offered, including:

  1. Your credit score. A higher score typically gets you a lower rate.
  2. Your down payment. Extra down payments often lead to lower rates. 
  3. Your loan amount. Smaller loan amounts typically come with higher rates. 
  4. Your home’s location. Lenders offer different rates in different states. 
  5. Your plans to live in the home. The lowest rates usually go to a primary residence. You’ll pay more for a second home or rental property interest rate. 
  6. Your cash available to pay points. If you have extra money to pay mortgage points, you can buy a lower rate.
  7. The economy. A strong or weak economy, along with Federal Reserve policies, inflation and bond yields may cause gyrations in the interest rate market.

15-year fixed rate if you can commit to a higher payment for the term of the loan. If you’re worried about your job stability or plan for an enormous expense (like a new car or a college education) you’re better off making extra payments on a 30-year mortgage to pay your mortgage off early.

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) offers a lower initial rate for a set time. Once the “teaser” rate period ends, your rate will adjust based on the ARM terms you chose, which could cause a big jump in your monthly payment. With a fixed-rate loan, your payments are the same for the loan’s entire term.