See how mortgage rates change over time


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Much has been said about a slowdown in the housing market in recent months. Rising interest rates — coupled with high house prices and dwindling consumer confidence amid a looming recession — have potential homeowners guessing about that next big purchase.

While these are all valid factors, consumers who are concerned about high interest rates could benefit from putting their rate into broader context. Rates have certainly increased since the pandemic days over the past two years, but historically they are still relatively low. Mortgage rates reached 18% in the 1980s, which is much higher than today’s rates.

Just take a look at this chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve to see how today’s mortgage rates compare to those in the past. The chart shows the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from 1971 to the present, identifying when there was also a recession, which generally correlates with rate spikes.

Average 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the United States

St. Louis Federal Reserve

Given recent Q2 GDP or Gross Domestic Product data suggesting a technical “recession,” it will be interesting to see how mortgage rates react. We can look at this chart over the weeks to see how rates change and compare it to other recessionary periods in previous years. For example, the 2008 recession saw a 30-year mortgage peak of 6.63%. The current 30-year rate, at the time of this writing, is 5.30%, but we’ll see how recession fears will impact that.

While the best mortgage rate is really the lowest you can get, you can get better context as to how low or high your rate is when you look at the St. Louis Federal Reserve chart.

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Mortgage lenders who help you get a lower rate

Much of your mortgage rate will depend on personal factors such as where you live, your credit score, and how much you plan to put down, as well as the type, term, and amount of mortgage. That said, some mortgage lenders have been known to help buyers get as low a rate as possible.

For example, SoFi offers a 0.25% cashback when you set a 30-year rate for a conventional loan, while another special offer gives customers up to $9,500 in cash back when they purchase a home through the SoFi Real Estate Center, which is powered by HomeStory. SoFi members can also get $500 off their mortgages.


  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    Apply online for personalized rates; fixed and adjustable rate mortgages included

  • Types of loans

    Conventional loans, jumbo loans, HELOC

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Minimum deposit

Working with a lender that offers shorter loan terms, such as 15-year loans, can also help you get a lower rate, as these are usually based on your level of risk. If you pay off your loan faster – which usually requires a higher monthly principal payment since the term is shortened – you may be rewarded with a lower interest rate, as your declining balance shows you are at less risk when it’s about defaulting on your loan.

Rocket Mortgage offers loan repayment terms as low as eight years. Keep in mind, though, that applying for a mortgage with a low credit rating, which Rocket Mortgage allows, most likely means you’ll get an interest rate above the lender’s APR range, regardless of the term. of the loan you choose.

Rocket Mortgage

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    Ask online for personalized rates

  • Types of loans

    Conventional Loans, FHA Loans, VA Loans, and Jumbo Loans

  • Terms

    8 to 29 years old, including 15 years old and 30 years old

  • Credit needed

    Generally requires a credit score of 620, but will consider applicants with a credit score of 580 as long as other eligibility criteria are met

  • Minimum deposit

    3.5% if you go ahead with an FHA loan

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.


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