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If you’re a homeowner who’s been considering a mortgage refinance, you might feel like your best chance has already passed you by. But fortunately, the window hasn’t closed yet. While interest rates are rising, the current mortgage market is still relatively favorable to homeowners, and while it’s unclear exactly how long these conditions will last, you can still potentially start the refinance process now and get the benefits.
Refinancing your mortgage can not only save you thousands of dollars in interest over time, but it can also lower your current monthly payment. So, if you’re worried that you’ve missed the boat on refinancing, here are three reasons it’s not too late to take advantage of a mortgage refinance.
1. Interest rates are starting to rise The long-term 30-year Treasury bond is generally the barometer for 30-year fixed mortgage rates, and when those bond rates started dropping at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates plummeted along with them.
Those rates began inching back up again at the start of 2021 and throughout the spring before settling in slightly lower throughout the summer. But they’ve been slowly creeping back up since then. According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.11% at the end of 2021.
While that’s significantly higher than the 2.65% we saw at the end of 2020 — which was the lowest level in almost 50 years — it’s still relatively low by historical standards. So if you’re currently paying a higher interest rate on your mortgage than what’s available today, now’s the time to take a look at whether you can lock in a lower rate with a refinance.
And if you’re already deep into your existing 30-year mortgage, this also might be a good time to use a refinance to shorten your mortgage. The rates on 15-year mortgages are also at historical lows, so you could take advantage of these lower rates to cut a few years off your current mortgage and save thousands of dollars in interest over time.
Click here to compare offers from refinance lenders at LendingTree, an online loan marketplace.
In addition to standard fixed-rate mortgages — which lock you into one interest rate over the entire length of the mortgage — another option is an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM. These mortgages typically start with a locked rate for the first three to seven years, then adjust every year after that for the remainder of the mortgage. The new rates can be higher or lower each year, depending on the prevailing interest rates at that time.
Normally, adjustable-rate mortgages offer lower rates in the first few years when compared to a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. However, in an odd quirk of the current market, rates on fixed-rate mortgages and ARMs are very similar at the moment. That’s because lenders eventually expect overall rates to go back up and don’t want people to get an ARM now and then refinance it with another lender down the line.
As a result, in some cases, the interest rates on ARMs can be practically identical to fixed-rate mortgages. That means this is your chance to get a locked interest rate for the next 15 or 30 years at roughly the same interest rate you’d usually only be able to guarantee for five or seven years.
And if you already have an adjustable-rate mortgage, you have an opportunity to avoid worrying about future adjustments by locking in a low fixed rate now with a refinance. This could be ideal for people who had originally planned to only stay in their home for a short time but are now considering extending their ownership for a longer period.
Check your rates now at LendingTree and see offers from multiple lenders.
3. The demand for refinancing has dropped In the heat of record-low interest rates in 2020, there were so many people who wanted to refinance that it was sometimes difficult to close on a new mortgage, resulting in reports of delays.
But now, even though new home inventory remains tight in many part
3 reasons it’s not too late to refinance your mortgage
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