Today's Rates In North Carolina
As the state slogan goes, North Carolina is "a better place to be." Whether you've been a longtime resident, or are just relocating, you can add a positive experience to your North Carolina memories by getting a great rate on your mortgage.
Finding that low rate mortgage or refinance isn't necessarily straightforward. That's why we've compiled the tools and information you'll need to get the best mortgage rates in NC and be a savvy mortgage borrower. These include an extensive collection of consumer-oriented articles on all facets of home loans and residential real estate, which you can search or browse; dozens of mortgage calculators for working out the finances of various loan options; links to mortgage lenders doing business in North Carolina, plus a glossary of mortgage and financial terms.
Current NC mortgage rates are listed above. That's a good start, but the average NC mortgage interest rates for may not be the rate you'll get. Your rate will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of loan you're seeking, your credit score, your down payment and the lender you're using – so it's important to shop around
Here are some essential tips to move your search in the right direction:
- Pay attention to how payments will be applied to the debt balance on all prospective mortgages. If you don't receive an amortization schedule, ask for one, or run your own with a mortgage calculator.
- Some mortgages offer you a lower rate, but you just end up paying more in closing costs. The APR (annual percentage rate) takes those into account and is often a more useful indication of the cost of a loan than just the mortgage rate itself.
- If getting a mortgage with an adjustable rate, make sure you understand what the rate adjustments will be based on and how much the rate can readjust in the future. You don't want to start with a low rate now only to get stuck with a sky-high one if rates soar in a few years.
Want to know what kind of deal you can get on NC home loans? You can use the form at the top of this page to get personalized quotes for NC mortgage rates for home purchases, refinancing and home equity loans, all tailored to you and the loan you are seeking. It's free of charge and there's absolutely no obligation.
About NC mortgage rates
As mentioned previously, today's NC mortgage rates are listed above. But the mortgage rate is only part of the story when shopping for NC home loans. A big part of the cost of any mortgage are the closing costs, which can run from 2-6 percent of the loan amount.
Spread out over the life of the loan, those can cost as much as a big hike in your mortgage rate. In fact, lenders will often allow you to avoid paying closing costs by agreeing to a higher rate. You can also buy a lower rate by paying for discount points, which are a type of prepaid mortgage interest. Each discount point costs 1 percent of the loan amount and reduces your rate by a certain amount, usually one-eighth to one-quarter of a percentage point.
Because loan offers from different lenders can be a jumble of different fees and discount points, making comparisons can be hard. This is where APR, or annual percentage rate comes in. The APR takes all the closing costs and fees associated with a loan, plus the mortgage rate, and expresses them as an interest rate. The higher the APR, the more costly the loan.
APR is a very useful tool for comparing fixed-rate mortgages, but isn't as accurate with adjustable-rate mortgages because the rate can vary. It also doesn't provide an exact comparison if you plan to sell the home in a few years, as it spreads the costs over the life of the loan, though it's still a pretty good guide.
Types of NC home loans
As a borrower, you have a choice of a wide variety of North Carolina home loan programs. Here are some of the more popular ones.
- Conventional loans: This describes home loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are the most common type of U.S. mortgage. They offer attractive rates for borrowers with good to strong credit, who are the majority of U.S. borrowers, and allow down payments of as little as 3 percent. The amount you can borrow varies from county to county and year to year, but generally speaking will cover the majority of homes in any housing market.
- NC FHA loans: FHA loans have more lenient credit requirements than conventional loans do, and usually offer better rates for borrowers with less-than-ideal credit. On the flip side, FHA loan have higher closing costs than conventional loans do, primarily in the form of an upfront mortgage insurance premium. FHA loan limits are lower than for conventional loans.
- VA home loans: VA loans are for military veterans, including active duty service members who have met minimum service requirements. VA loans in NC offer competitive mortgage rates, with the added attraction that no down payment is required on most mortgages, up to the same limits as conventional loans.
- Jumbo loans: Jumbo loans are those that exceed the lending limits on conventional mortgages, so they cannot be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Jumbo loan rates in North Carolina tend to be a bit higher than for other home loans, and have stricter credit requirements as well. Down payment requirements are generally higher as well, though some lenders will allow as little as 10 percent or less.
Refinance rates in NC are pretty much identical to the rates on other home loans. A refinance is basically taking out a new mortgage and using it to pay off the old one, so the rate structure is similar. You can refinance using the same type of loan used to buy your home – conventional, FHA, VA or jumbo – or you can switch to a different type. Because it's new loan, you don't have to stay with the same lender, but can go with a different one if you find they have the best mortgage rates in NC.
ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) are available in many variations, but they all share some common characteristics:
- The loan opens with a low fixed rate, which lasts for one to 10 years.
- After the initial rate expires, a variable rate takes effect; this rate is usually adjusted annually, and fluctuates with economic trends.
- ARMs are used by borrowers who need a low payment now and are willing to absorb payment increases later.
Most mortgage types are available as either fixed-rate loans or ARMs.
Home Equity Loans
Existing homeowners can convert their home equity into cash with a home equity loan or a cash-out refinance. Home equity loans come in two types, a standard home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). With a standard home equity loan, you borrow a single sum of money and immediately begin repaying it. With a HELOC, you are given a credit line you can borrow against as needed and usually don't have to begin repaying the loan balance right away.
With a cash-out refinance, you refinance your current mortgage for a higher amount than you currently owe, and receive the difference in cash. Because you're refinancing the entire loan, your closing costs are much higher than on a home equity loan, but your interest rate is typically lower, so this option works best if you're borrowing a large sum. It also works if you can lower your current mortgage rate in the process, though cash-out refinance rates are higher than standard mortgage refinance rates in NC.
Comparing NC Mortgage Rates
You can find qualified brokers with a quick browse through our North Carolina broker directory. Be diligent about collecting several written offers, as that's the best strategy to find the lowest rate. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for your lender consultations:
- Know your budget. Use mortgage calculators to test different loans and rates.
- Know your future plans. Consider what factors could prompt you to sell the home in the next few years, and what factors might affect your income.
- Know the market. Refinance rates are lower than second mortgage rates, and ARM rates usually start out lower than fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) rates. Knowing how the different loan types compare makes your mortgage shopping experience much easier.
As your loan offers start rolling in, take care to evaluate them on all terms, including payment amount, amortization schedule, and total interest costs. From there, you're definitely ready to select your best option.