Compare Refinance Rates Today

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If you’d like a little more guidance as you choose a lender, check out our picks for the best mortgage refinance companies.

Written by Denny Ceizyk | Edited by Kurt Adams | Updated May 23, 2023

⇒ 30 year-fixed mortgage rates are averaging 7.32%, while the average for a 15-year fixed mortgage refinance is 6.59%

Current average rates are calculated using all conditional loan offers presented to consumers nationwide by LendingTree’s network partners on the previous day for each combination of loan program, loan term and loan amount. Rates and other loan terms are subject to lender approval and not guaranteed.  Not all consumers may qualify.  See LendingTree’s Terms of Use for more details. 

If you’re looking to refinance now, you’re not going to find a great incentive in interest rates alone, which remain relatively high compared to past years. As a result, the volume of refinances is 76% lower than it was this same time in 2022. That said, there are other reasons to refinance now.

Perhaps your credit or other aspects of your finances have improved significantly since you signed your mortgage. If so, you may not want to hold off on a refinance — just make sure any new loan you’re considering will truly benefit you financially, and in a time frame that matches up with how long you plan to stay in your home.

Our market expert’s forecast for mortgage rates for early 2023 does leave room for optimism, showing the expectation that interest rates will continue to trend down. Inflation is easing, the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer qualify as a national emergency come May and so far this year mortgage rates have already dipped well below 7% — a much more comfortable place compared to the rates we saw in November 2022.

Comparing refinance rates

A surefire way to find the best refinance rate is to shop around, but what does that really mean? The truth is that many factors beyond interest rates themselves matter when choosing a refinancing loan. Here are several things you should do as you go through the process of assessing refi rates and terms:

  • Pull your credit reports and scores. A credit score of at least 780 will typically get you the best rate offers. If you’re struggling with low credit, you may want to wait to refinance until you can improve your credit.
  • Gather quotes or loan estimates from three to five mortgage lenders. Sure, you could just go with a bank you already have accounts with when choosing a refinance lender — but do your due diligence first. A LendingTree study found that comparison-shopping with multiple lenders can save you thousands in interest costs over the long haul.
  • Be sure to compare APRs, not just interest rates. Looking at APRs will help you factor costs and fees into each loan, and will more accurately reflect the true cost of a given mortgage. A low rate may sound good at first, but if it comes with high fees it may not actually offer you the best value.
  • Look at the “Projected Payments” section of your loan estimate. This is where you’ll see what your total monthly payment will look like, taking into account principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI). Just keep in mind that house-related expenses like utilities, homeowners association (HOA) fees and home maintenance aren’t included in this payment estimate.
  • Budget enough cash reserves to cover your refinance closing costs. You’ll typically need to sock away 2% to 6% of the total loan amount to pay for closing costs, including lender fees, third-party fees and escrow costs, taxes and insurance.


How do refinance rates differ from purchase rates?

Mortgage refinance rates tend to move up and down in tandem with purchase mortgage rates, while remaining slightly more expensive — about 21 basis points higher on average so far in 2023. However, refinance rates differ from lender to lender, which is why it’s important to shop around and find a rate that’s competitive enough to replace your current mortgage rate.
Conventional cash-out refinances and certain high-LTV refinance loans will also incur extra fees at closing.

What is a mortgage refinance?

Refinancing your mortgage means getting a new home loan to replace an existing one. You typically follow the same steps you did for your purchase mortgage, except your new loan pays off your old loan.

A mortgage refinance can help you save money by:

  • Reducing your interest rate. You aren’t stuck with your existing mortgage rate. A refinance can help you get the best mortgage rates available now.
  • Shrinking your loan term. If you can pay off your mortgage faster, you’ll save big on interest charges.
  • Putting cash in your pocket. A cash-out refinance can do all of the above and give you extra funds to put toward your financial goals.

But before you jump in, make sure you’ve set yourself up for a successful refinance by going in with a goal and a plan.

Pros and cons


  You could get a lower interest rate

  You can change to a shorter loan term, which could save you a significant sum in interest charges

  You could get a lower monthly payment

  You may be able to reduce or get rid of your private mortgage insurance if your home value has increased

  You could access a large lump sum of cash that can be put toward other financial goals

  You’ll have to pay refinance closing costs

  You’ll push out your loan payoff date if you refinance into a loan with the same term as your existing loan

  You might stretch your budget too far if you refinance into a shorter loan term

  You might not break even if you move or sell the home too quickly

  You’ll reduce the amount of equity you have in your home if you borrow against it when refinancing


Types of refinance loans

The most common types of mortgage refinance options are offered by conventional lenders, as well as lenders approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Rate-and-term refinance loans. This is the most traditional type of refinance and often serves the purpose of changing your mortgage rate and/or repayment term.
  • Cash-out refinance loans. With a cash-out refinance, you get a new mortgage that has a higher balance than what you currently owe on your existing loan. You pocket the difference between the two loans in cash.
  • Streamline refinance loans. The streamline refinance option is exclusive to homeowners with government-backed loans from the FHA, VA or USDA. In most cases, no home appraisal or income documentation is required. To qualify, you just need to currently have an FHA, VA or USDA loan and be able to show that the refinance will benefit you financially.
  • High loan-to-value (LTV) refinance loans. Homeowners with conventional loans who have little to no equity may qualify for a high-LTV refinance. The maximum LTV ratio allowed when refinancing a conventional loan is 97% for a rate-and-term refinance or 80% for a cash-out refinance.

Mortgage refinance requirements

The table below gives you a quick glance at the refinance requirements for credit score, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and LTV ratio for the types of refinance loans above:

Loan programRefinance purposeCredit scoreLTV ratioDTI ratio
ConventionalRate and term62097%45% to 50%
Cash out62080%45% to 50%
FHARate and term500 to 58097.75%43%
Cash out50080%43%
VARate and termNo minimum, but lenders typically require 620100%41%
Cash outNo minimum90%41%
StreamlineNo minimumN/AN/A

Conventional Refinance Loan Rate Changes in 2023

Although the table above lists the minimum requirements, there are additional thresholds within the credit, DTI and LTV categories that determine whether you’ll be hit with extra fees. As of May 1, 2023, conventional loan borrowers with the following characteristics may face extra charges or rate increases:

  • A credit score below 780 and an LTV between 30% and 95%
  • A DTI over 40% and an LTV over 60%
  • Taking out cash when refinancing

Other fees, not related to your credit or loan amount, may also apply if you:

  • Have a second mortgage that will remain in place once the refinance is complete
  • Purchase an investment property, second home or multiunit property
  • Purchase a manufactured home or a condo
  • Choose an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan

How to refinance your mortgage

When should I refinance my mortgage?

Wondering how the mortgage refinance process works? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the details involved, but follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way:

  1. Figure out your refinancing “why.” Do you want a lower mortgage rate? Can you afford a higher monthly payment and, in return, get a shorter loan term? Are you ready to borrow from your home equity?
  2. Gather information about your home’s value. Try a home value estimator or contact your real estate agent to help pinpoint your home’s value. The more equity you have, the lower your rate will typically be.
  3. Apply. Pick at least three to five refinance lenders and fill out applications with each. FICO, the company behind the credit scores most used in lending, recommends that you complete those applications within a 14-day time frame to minimize the temporary hit to your credit score from multiple hard inquiries.
  4. Lock in your mortgage rate. Once you’ve committed to a lender, get a mortgage rate lock to secure the interest rate you were quoted.
  5. Close on your refinance. Work with your lender to finalize your refinance, submit any outstanding paperwork and schedule your closing date.

When should I refinance my mortgage?

You should refinance when you’re sure to see a long-term financial benefit. You might refinance to get rid of private or FHA mortgage insurance, shorten your loan term, or for many other reasons, but you should only do so if you understand when you’ll break even on the refinance and how the changes in your payment amount will affect your monthly budget.

Try using a mortgage refinance calculator to help you crunch the numbers on different refinance scenarios.

Is now a good time to refinance?

With today’s interest rates, it may not be the best time to refinance if you’re looking for a lower rate. However, there are other financially sound reasons to refinance now, including:

  • Getting rid of mortgage insurance because your home’s value has increased. You can get rid of PMI on a conventional loan if you have 20% equity but, even if you don’t, you may be able to reduce it.
  • Lowering your monthly payment by replacing a 15-year mortgage with a longer-term, 30-year fixed-rate loan.
  • Paying your loan off faster by refinancing a 30-year term to a 10-, 15- or 20-year term.
  • Paying off an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) before the ARM rate and payment adjusts higher than current 30-year rates.
  • Tapping your home equity to make home improvements, consolidate debt or buy a vacation home.
  • Replacing a government-backed loan with a conventional loan, to get rid of lifetime FHA mortgage insurance required on FHA loans.
Know how soon you can refinance after closing

Conventional loan guidelines allow you to refinance at any time after you close, as long as you can prove there’s some financial benefit and aren’t taking cash out. Some government-backed refinance programs require proof you’ve made payments on your current mortgage for at least seven months. If you’re taking cash out, the seasoning period may be up to a year if you want to use your home’s current market value.

Frequently asked questions

Because refinance loans require a credit check, the inquiry may drop your credit score by up to five points. When you’re mortgage shopping, try to have your credit run within a 14-day period to avoid a bigger drop from multiple inquiries.

You typically need at least 3% equity to refinance your mortgage, unless you’re eligible for a streamline refinance program through the FHA, VA or USDA. There are also programs available for homeowners to refinance an underwater home, meaning their outstanding mortgage balance is higher than their home’s value.

The most notable risks that come with mortgage refinancing include:

  • The appraisal returning a low home value that reduces the benefit of the refinance.
  • Never recovering the costs of refinancing if you sell your home before reaching the break-even point on your closing costs.
  • Losing your home to foreclosure if you go into mortgage default.
  • Extending your repayment term can bring far higher overall interest costs.
  • Wasting your home equity on a splurge rather than improving your finances.
  • Converting unsecured debt into secured debt if you use a cash-out refinance to pay off credit cards or other unsecured debt.
  • Reducing your profit when you sell your home by tapping too much equity.

It takes on average 51 days to refinance a home, according to data from ICE Mortgage Technology. Your lender might take more or less time to close a refinance, depending on how much business they have and whether they use a digital mortgage application process.