Today's mortgage and refinance rates: February 7, 2021 | Rates increase

Many mortgage and refinance rates have gone up since last Sunday, though they are still at historic lows in general. 

You may look to secure a low rate on a fixed-rate mortgage now, but you might want to steer clear of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

With an ARM, your rate will change regularly. Darrin English, Senior Community Development Loan Officer at Quontic Bank, told Insider fixed-rate mortgages are often a better option than ARMs these days. Fixed rates were often higher than ARM rates — he said this isn't the case now.

Currently, ARM rates start higher than fixed rates, and there's the possibility that your rate will increase in the future. You might think about applying for a fixed-rate mortgage or refinancing soon. 

Rates from Ad Practitioners LLC.

Many mortgage rates have ticked up since last Sunday, though 15-year fixed mortgage rates have remained steady. All rates are still at historic lows. 

We're supplying you with the national average rates for conventional mortgages, which may be what you consider "normal mortgages." You may be eligible for a lower rate with a government-backed mortgage through the FHAVA, or USDA.

Overall, mortgage rates are still at all-time lows. Low rates are often a sign of a floundering economy. Rates will likely remain low as the US continues to face the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rates from Ad Practitioners LLC.

Since last Sunday, refinance rates on adjustable-rate mortgages have gone up. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have decreased, while 15-year fixed mortgage rates have remained flat. Rates are still at all-time lows overall.

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, you'll pay off your mortgage in 15 years, and your interest rate will stay constant for the length of the loan.

A 15-year fixed mortgage is less expensive than a 30-year term. You'll pay off the mortgage in half the time, and you'll receive a lower interest rate also.  

However, you'll pay more each month with a 15-year fixed mortgage than with a 30-year term. As you're paying off the same loan principal in half the time, your monthly payments will be higher. 

With a 30-year fixed mortgage, it will take you 30 years to pay off your mortgage, and your interest rate will be the same during the whole term. 

You'll pay a higher interest rate with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a shorter term. You used to pay a lower interest rate with an adjustable-rate mortgage than with a 30-year fixed mortgage, but currently, 30-year terms are the better deal. 

Your monthly mortgage payments will be smaller with a 30-year fixed mortgage than with a 15-year fixed mortgage. You'll pay less each month because you're spreading out your payments over a longer period. 

However, it will cost you more in interest with a 30-year term than with a 15-year term because you're paying a higher interest rate for more time.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, also known as an ARM, will lock in your rate for the first several years. Then it will alter the rate regularly. A 7/1 ARM secures your rate for seven years — then your rate will increase or decrease once per year. 

Though ARM rates are currently at all-time lows, you may still get the best deal on a fixed-rate mortgage. You can secure a low rate for the long haul without the risk of a future ARM rate increase. 

If you're considering getting an ARM, ask your lender what your individual rates would be if you chose a fixed-rate versus an adjustable-rate mortgage.

It may be an excellent time to lock in a low mortgage rate. Fixed and adjustable mortgage rates are at all-time lows, so you may want to apply for a mortgage or refinance now. 

There's no need to hurry to get a low rate, though. Rates will probably remain low well into 2021, if not longer, so you still have time to improve your financial profile. Here are a few ways you can get the lowest possible rate:

  • Increase your credit scoreStart by making timely payments, paying off your debts, or allowing your credit to age. You'll get a reduced interest rate with a higher score, and many lenders will improve your rate with a score of at least 700. 
  • Save more for a down payment. The smallest amount you'll need for your down payment will depend on which type of mortgage you want. However, the higher your down payment, the better your interest rate is likely to be. As rates will probably stay low for a while, you still have time to save up.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. Most lenders want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less. To improve your ratio, pay down debts or seek ways to boost your income. 

If you're feeling confident about your financial situation, now might be a good time to take out a mortgage or refinance.

Ryan Wangman is a reviews fellow at Personal Finance Insider reporting on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.