How to Track Mortgage Rates

Track mortgage rates so you know when to purchase or refinance.

Mortgage rates change similarly to the stock market, so these changes are difficult to predict. Knowing what causes mortgage rates to change and what indicators can help you track mortgages will help you move at the right time.

Get Updates to Track Mortgage Rate Changes

No one knows exactly how the interest or mortgage markets will change, and this can make it difficult to know when to start your mortgage or refinance. However, there are a few indicators that experts use to make predictions about mortgage rates in the future. Changes in US Treasury bonds, for example, are one indicator of where mortgage rates are going. It’s also helpful to track mortgage rates over time, so you can see when the rates change and by how much. When you sign up for rate updates, you’ll receive information about mortgage rates trends and comparisons from different lenders, straight to your inbox.

Keep in mind that these rates are based on specific criteria, and that your custom mortgage rate will depend on your loan terms, credit score, and other factors that are unique to you. To learn more about your personalized mortgage interest rate, make an appointment with a banker.

Mortgage Rate Tracker FAQs

What are mortgage rates based on?

When a lender closes on a mortgage, that mortgage is often packaged with other mortgages and sold as a bond. These bonds are sold to an investor (often, and investment bank or government-sponsored enterprise). The interest on a mortgage is effectively paid out as the yield on a mortgage-backed security bond. Because of this, mortgage backed securities and other indicators like U.S. Treasury bonds can be used to predict how mortgage rates will change. Calculate your mortgage with a mortgage payment calculator or check out our interest tax deduction calculator!

How do US Treasury bonds track mortgage rates?

The yield on US treasury bonds are the interest rate that the government pays when someone buys a 10 year treasury bond. The 10 year bond yield is considered a benchmark rate for other financial instruments like mortgages. Since the 10 year bond yield is considered a forward-looking market gauge, when it moves up or down you will usually see mortgage rates quickly follow in the same direction.

How else can I watch the market?

As a borrower, it is smart to get a sense of how the market is performing, how your credit score affects your rate, and how much you are paying in fees, which can be analyzed with your APR. After you have your bearings, defer to a lender, as they have access to mortgage interest rate tracking tools that are often paid-subscriptions, and help them get a more advanced sense of when you should lock in a rate.

What is APR? How is it different from my interest rate?

Whether your mortgage interest rate is variable or fixed, it will come with a percentage interest rate to be paid. While this is clearly useful, you should also pay attention to the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) you will be paying. The APR is a more accurate measure of how much you will be paying, as it measures the interest rate, closing costs, and possibly discount points. These costs can add significantly to your payments.

Should I lock in my rate?

Rates can change constantly, and it may not be smart to lock in your rate based on a bet on the state of the market. As a borrower, you can lock in a loan after the initial loan approval. Many borrowers choose not to lock in the loan until they have found a home to purchase. Depending on the rate lock period, they need the time to close on the house. If you lock in a rate for 30 days and the house takes 35 days to close, you may end up paying extension fees just to reserve the same rate. Longer rate locks may also cost mortgage points. Talk to your lender and ask questions about when you should close, or lock in a rate.

What types of loans are available?

If you are looking for something other than a conventional loan, be sure that the lenders you’re considering offer the loan you need. With so many loan options available, clue into which loan is best suited for your needs, and research how much experience your lender has handling the type of loan you want. Homesite Mortgage offers conventional, FHA mortgages, VA, USDA mortgages, and jumbo home loans.

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