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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mortgage rates ticked downward last week

A sign outside a home for sale in Atlanta, Ga. Mortgage rates fell again this past week.  (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg)
By Katherine Rodriguez Tribune News Service

The average mortgage interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage last week was 6.96%, a decrease of 0.07 percentage points from the previous week’s 7.03%.

Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most commonly sought out loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage has a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one, but usually has a higher interest rate.

The average mortgage interest rate for a standard 15-year fixed mortgage was 6.49%, an increase of 0.01 percentage points from the previous week’s 6.48%.

Fifteen-year fixed rate mortgages come with a higher monthly payment compared to its 30-year counterpart.

However, usually interest rates are lower and homebuyers will pay less total interest because they are paying off their loans at a faster rate.

The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was 6.12%, a decrease of 0.01 percentage points from the previous week’s 6.13%.

With an ARM, homebuyers will most often get a lower interest rate than a fixed mortgage for say, the first five years.

But they could end up paying more or less after that time depending on your loan terms and how that rate follows the market.

When picking a mortgage, it is important to pick out a loan term or payment schedule.

Usually homebuyers will be offered a 15 or 30-year loan term, but it is not uncommon to see 10, 20, or 40-year mortgages, according to CNET.

Mortgages can be fixed-rate or adjustable-rate. Interest rates in fixed-rate mortgages are set in stone for the duration of the loan.

Adjustable-rate mortgages only have interest rates set for a certain period of time before the rate adjusts annually based on the market.