Today’s mortgage rates fall for longest and shortest terms | Oct. 18, 2021

Check out the mortgage rates for Oct. 18, 2021, which are a mixed bag from last Friday. (iStock)

Based on data compiled by Credible, mortgage rates have dropped for the longest and shortest terms, held steady for 20-year terms and risen for 15-year terms since last Friday.

  • 30-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.990%, down from 3.000%, -0.010
  • 20-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.750%, unchanged
  • 15-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.375%, up from 2.250%, +0.125
  • 10-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.125%, down from 2.250%, -0.125

Rates last updated on Oct. 18, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

What this means: Mortgage experts have predicted rate increases toward the end of the year but 30-year mortgage rates dropped back below 3% today, meaning homebuyers still have time to lock in a lower rate and save on interest. Homebuyers who can manage a higher monthly payment could reap even more interest savings by choosing a 10-year term — rates for this term fell to 2.125% today. Meanwhile, 20-year rates have remained unchanged for nine consecutive days and 15-year rates jumped up to 2.375%

Looking at today’s mortgage refinance rates

Mortgage refinance rates for a 30-year term opened the week below 3%, meaning there’s still time for homeowners to score a deal by locking in a lower rate ahead of predicted rate increases. Meanwhile, 20-year rates have held steady at 2.750% for nine straight days. And rates for 15-year and 10-year terms, which are usually lower than longer terms, jumped up to 2.375%. If you’re considering refinancing an existing home, check out what refinance rates look like:

  • 30-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.990%, down from 3.000%, -0.010
  • 20-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.750%, unchanged 
  • 15-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.375%, up from 2.250%, +0.125
  • 10-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.375%, up from 2.125%, +0.250

Rates last updated on Oct. 18, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary

What credit score do I need to buy a house?

The credit score you’ll need to get a mortgage will vary depending on multiple factors, including the type of mortgage you apply for. Here are the general credit score requirements for some popular mortgage products.

FHA loans

The Federal Housing Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, insures these loans, which are made by private lenders. It’s possible to qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500, but you’ll need to have a down payment of at least 10%. With a credit score of 580 or higher, you’d only be required to put down 3.5%.

VA loans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees a portion of these loans, which are made by private lenders and are only available to active-duty military, veterans and their spouses. VA loans have no minimum credit score requirement. But the VA guidelines help ensure applicants will have sufficient income to afford the loan.

USDA loans

Very low-income Americans who want to buy homes in certain rural areas may be eligible for a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA funds these loans, and there’s no minimum credit score requirement.

Conventional loans

A conventional loan is one that’s not backed by any government agency. To qualify for a conventional loan, you’ll typically need a credit score of at least 620 for fixed-rate loans, and 640 for adjustable-rate mortgages, according to Fannie Mae

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