30 Year Mortgage Rate Reported Below 5% Although Hard to Find

Freddie Mac's weekly survey says that the rate on a 30 year fixed rate loan has fallen below 5% for the first time ever. But you may have trouble finding a rate this low.

Freddie Mac's weekly survey says that the rate on a 30 year fixed rate loan has fallen below 5% for the first time ever.   According to the survey the national average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.96% in the week ending Jan. 15, down from 5.01% a week ago.  Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. A year ago the loan averaged 5.69%.  According to the survey, to get the rate you'll have to pay at least 1 point. 

The 15 year rate, a popular term for refinancing actually rose from 4.62% to 4.65%. 

These rates are low but may be difficult for many people to get.  Consumers face several obstacles:

First, a shopper has to find a bank that is offering rates this low.  A quick perusal of rates on the Web showed very few banks offering rates below 5%.

Then, consumers have to qualify for the loan.  These low rates are only available to non-jumbo loans and only to those with the highest credit ratings.

If a homeowner is thinking of refinancing, they'll have to have positive equity in their home, something that many don't have.  

The bottom line: The Fed is taking unprecedented steps to lower rates and it is working.  You may have a difficult time getting the lowest rate, but who can complain with a 5% rate.  And as the economy continues to weaken and the Fed looks for more remedies, expect rates to come down further.

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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