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Mortgage Rates Jumped Today, Though Equity Loans Held Firm

Uh oh. After easing much of last week, average mortgage rates across the U.S. jumped today, led by a 0.09% hike in 30-year fixed refinance loans. For existing homeowners pondering an equity loan, there's more of the same on that front.

Following the Federal Reserve's recent increase in its benchmark rate, along with the subsequent rise in many banks' prime rates (the rates banks charge their most creditworthy customers and often use to determine the rates on adjustable-rate mortgage), may finally be be causing a slow but sustained rise in mortgage rates, as many pundits predicted.

It's too early to tell whether today's hike is a precursor of things to come or simply a hiccup, but it will be interesting to see what happens with rates in the days and weeks ahead.

Here are today's average mortgage rates across the U.S., along with where they stood a month ago:

Mortgage Type

Mortgage Rates Today

Mortgage Rates 1 month ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.49%

4.69%

30-year fixed

4.00%

4.16%

15-year fixed

3.14%

3.30%

30-year fixed refinance

4.02%

4.17%

15-year fixed refinance

3.21%

3.34%

5/1 ARM

3.15%

3.36%

5/1 ARM refinance

3.32%

3.51%

Data source: Bloomberg. National average rates which may include points.

Rates increased today but remain competitive compared to what home shoppers were faced with just a few years ago. For some perspective, here are a few of the rates as of April 2014:

Mortgage Type

Mortgage Rates March, 2012

30-year fixed

4.34%

15-year fixed

3.39%

1-year ARM

2.44%

5/1-year ARM

3.07%

Data source: Freddie Mac. Rates do not include points.

Exploring a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or equity loan? As alluded to above, no news is good news on the equity loan front today. HELOC and equity loan rates held steady at 5.23% and 5.31%, respectively. HELOC and home equity loan rates are slightly above March's respective rates of 5.20% and 5.22%.

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