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How to get a mortgage rate below 7% right now

By shopping for lenders and applying for an adjustable-rate mortgage buyers could theoretically secure a mortgage rate below 7% today. Getty Images

Mortgage interest rates are falling again. After climbing to their highest point since 2000 last year and hovering as high as 8% last fall, rates have since dropped significantly. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage now stands at 7.03% as of January 22. While that's substantially higher than what could have been secured a few years ago, it's heading in the right direction for borrowers. And with many forecasting rate cuts to come later in 2024, it's likely to fall even further.

That said, timing the market is difficult and generally not advisable. There are also buyers who, for various reasons, can't wait for the rate climate to fall further. Fortunately, for these specific buyers, there are ways to secure a mortgage rate below 7% right now. Below, we'll break down three ways to do just that.

Start by exploring your mortgage rate options here to see what you qualify for.

How to get a mortgage rate below 7% right now

Here are three effective ways buyers can get a below-average mortgage rate today.

Shop for lenders

Remember, that a 7.03% rate is an average, meaning some lenders may offer a higher rate and some may offer a lower one. If you're looking for the latter, start shopping around for lenders. See what rates and terms you may be offered (assuming your credit is already in top shape). 

Even a slightly lower rate from one competitor compared to another could result in significant savings over the length of a 30-year mortgage term. But be sure to look at the fine print — specifically fees and closing cost estimates — to make sure that the lower rate you secure isn't canceled by excessive costs elsewhere in the process.

Start shopping for rates and lenders here now to learn more.

Lock in a rate when it falls below 7%

Mortgage interest rates change daily and are affected by a series of factors. As such, buyers should check rates each day — and act aggressively to lock in a rate when it falls below that 7% threshold. Don't wait for an ideal lower rate to appear. Instead, lock in what you can now — and then look to unlock and relock a lower rate if and when they change before closing. 

And even if that doesn't materialize, you could always refinance in the future when rates inevitably come down again. Just don't wait for a perfect rate because that's unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Consider an adjustable-rate mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage may not be ideal for every buyer, but if you're looking for an effective way to get a below-average interest rate, this is one of the clear ways to do so. Adjustable-rate mortgages, also known as ARMs, see their rate adjust over time. So it may be locked in at one presumably lower rate for the first six years of your loan and then adjust from there going forward. 

The benefit here, obviously, is that you can start with a lower rate. The downside is that that rate will adjust, possibly much higher than you would like, after the first period has concluded. This could be a valuable, calculated risk to take, however, if the buyer assumes rates will be lower in the future. And, even if they're not, they could refinance into a fixed-rate mortgage at that point.

Explore your mortgage options here today

The bottom line

Mortgage rates are coming down and could be consistently below 7% within a few months. For buyers ready to act now, however, there are ways to get an even lower rate. This includes shopping around for lenders to see which can offer you the best rate and terms. It also means being proactive and willing to lock in a lower rate on the rare days when it falls below 7% — and it means, for some, weighing the risks of an adjustable-rate mortgage versus the immediate benefits of a lower rate. While taking all three factors into account, current buyers can position themselves to lock in a rate below 7% right now. 

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