Here’s how you can lower your mortgage interest rate

30-year-fixed mortgage rates reached 6.48% on Jan. 5, almost 50% higher than during the same month four years ago. Home prices took a hit during the back half of 2022 as mortgage rates began to rise. After all, the current rates can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to monthly housing costs for homeowners.

It all begs the question: Can I lower my mortgage rate? According to the experts, you have options.

Realtor.com suggested homeowners consider a mortgage rate buy-down. A mortgage rate buy-down allows for homeowners to pay upfront to buy down the interest rate on a loan for a certain period of time. The consequence of the mortgage rate buy-down is that the participating homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments will be temporarily reduced.

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“With increasing interest rates, sellers will likely be looking for great ways to incentivize buyers, and this product would be a great way to do that,” Adam Fuller, a senior loan officer at Mortgage 1, told Realtor.com.

Holden Lewis, a home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet, told Realtor.com that there are some cons — as well as pros — to participating in a mortgage rate buy-down.

“The main risk of a buy-down is that you’ll grow accustomed to spending the money you’re saving, and you’ll end up having trouble making your monthly payments when you eventually need to pay the full interest rate,” Lewis said.

According to Rocket Mortgage, refinancing is another sensible option. Reducing the interest rate on a $200,000 30-year-fixed loan by 1%, for instance, can translate to nearly $120 in monthly savings.

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Monitor the housing market and look for lower rates than your current mortgage. Once rates drop, contact your lender to lock in a new rate.

Experian advised working to improve your credit score. As a general rule, your interest rate offerings will be lower the higher your credit score is. To improve your credit, Experian said to make all payments on time, pay down any credit balances, don’t apply for any new credit and don’t close old credit card accounts.