As a service to borrowers, we have created this Rate Map so that homeowners can anonymously share information about the terms they were able to obtain on their mortgages. This type of information is very useful to other borrowers who are looking to negotiate their own home loan or mortgage refinance, as well as to those who are just interested in current rate trends.
For those looking for rate information, simply make your choices from the column at left to narrow down your selections by state, city or credit score. You can also click on the map to zoom in directly.
To enter your own information anonymously, just click on “Share Your Rate” and enter your data in the boxes. Your fellow borrowers will appreciate it!
This service is provided free of charge. If you found it useful, please consider sharing it with your friends on Google+, Facebook or Twitter
About mortgage rates
The mortgage rate you are able to obtain will be affected by a number of factors, including your choice of lender and the area where the home is located. Each lender has its own way of structuring its loans and will have different ways of setting their rates according to the profile of the loan and borrower. So the lender who can provide the best terms for Borrower A may not be the best choice for Borrower B, for example.
Similarly, mortgage rates vary from region to region across the country and even within the same state. So just because you've seen that lenders are offering a certain rate in California doesn't mean you'll be able to get that same rate in New Jersey, or vice versa.
Credit score is king
One of the biggest factors that affects your mortgage rate will be your credit score. The best mortgage rates go to borrowers with excellent credit, typically defined as those with FICO credit scores of 740 and above. Rates become incrementally higher as scores go down, usually in steps of 20 points. The lower you go, the bigger the increases become, so that once you hit the lower 600s every drop of 20 points produces a pretty big bump. So anything you can do to improve your score when you're in that range can really make a difference.
The term of your mortgage, or how long it will take you to pay it off, also makes a difference. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages are higher than those on comparable 20-year loans, which in turn are higher than those on 15-year mortgages.
Fixed-rate vs ARM
The type of mortgage you have also matters. Interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are lower than those on fixed-rate mortgages, at least initially, although rates on ARMs eventually will eventually begin to float in response to market rates. This means the rate on an ARM could go higher than on a fixed-rate loan that was originated at the same time, but it's also possible that the rate on the ARM could go even lower as well.
The size of your down payment also affects your mortgage rate. Borrowers who make down payments of 20-25 percent or more, or who are refinancing with at least that much home equity get somewhat better rates than those making smaller down payments or with less equity. A larger factor though, is the need for mortgage insurance on most home loans with less than 20 percent down and which can run between 0.3-1.5 percent of your loan amount per year.
Discount points are a very common way of lowering your mortgage rate. They are actually a way of pre-paying part of your mortgage interest and as such, are tax-deductible for those who itemize. Each point costs 1 percent of your loan amount (an amount known as 1 point) and reduces your interest rate by one-eighth to one-quarter of a percentage point. Advertised mortgage rates are often based on paying a certain number of points and sometimes fractions of a point. Points are technically paid up front but their cost can be rolled into the loan itself, so it's up to the borrower to determine if paying for them is worthwhile in their situation.