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Do you know your mortgage interest rate?

There are a few numbers everyone should know to help them understand their own financial health, such as their income and how much they have in savings.
1/12/2017 5:19:24 PM

There are a few numbers everyone should know to help them understand their own financial health, such as their income and how much they have in savings. One important piece of information for homeowners is their mortgage rate.

However, a Bankrate survey found that more than one-third of people aren't aware of this number.

"Your mortgage rate is one of the most important numbers in your financial life, and there's a good chance that one of your neighbors has no idea regarding how much he or she is paying," Holden Lewis, a senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com, explained.

"In some cases, refinancing can earn you a lower interest rate."

Though your rate is a crucial piece of information, many mortgage lenders aren't shocked by the results of the survey, according to CNBC. Buying a home is an emotional purchase, and after looking at homes, speaking to lenders, real estate agents and the many other people involved with the homebuying process, many consumers are just focused on getting everything squared away so they can move in.

Your mortgage rate determines how expensive your home loan is. It's important to know what the rate is so that you can make smart decisions about whether to refinance. In some cases, getting a second mortgage can earn you a lower interest rate, which would save you money over time.

"The issue is not so much that they don't know their mortgage rate," Lewis commented. "It's that they don't know that rates are a whole lot lower now."

Refinance rates now

According to Bankrate, refinance rates fell Jan. 10, providing many homeowners the opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payments.

  • The 30-year fixed-rate refinance rate landed at 4.04%, down from 4.09% the week before.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate refinance rate ended at 3.16%, down from 3.25% the week before.
  • The 10-year fixed-rate refinance rate came to 3.04%, down from 3.16% the week before.

While these rates trended down compared to the week prior, the overall direction of rates seems to be going up. Bankrate reported that a month ago, the 30-year fixed-rate refinance rate was 4%.

It's unknown where rates will go in the coming months. The economy has been in a good place, with the number of jobs increasing and consumer spending going up in the fourth quarter of 2016. As expected, the Fed also voted to increase the federal funds rate at the end of the year. Some economists think the Fed will make a similar move during one of the first four Federal Open Market Committee meetings of 2017, GOBankingRates reported.

Even though 2017 began with a dip in mortgage and refinance rates, there's always the possibility that they'll reverse direction in the future. Homeowners who don't know their mortgage interest rates would be doing themselves a favor by looking it up and comparing it to refinance rates available to them. Refinancing soon could save them some money in the long run.