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Mortgage Rates Friday, March 24: Holding March Lows; Expanding Access for Borrowers Without Credit Scores

March 24, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Mortgage rates today for 30- and 15-year fixed loans ticked higher, while 5/1 ARMs slipped a notch, according to a NerdWallet survey of current mortgage rates published by national lenders Friday morning.

Interest rates are holding near their lows for the month, according to the NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index.


(Change from 3/23)
30-year fixed: 4.34% APR (+0.01)
15-year fixed: 3.68% APR (+0.01)
5/1 ARM: 3.86% APR (-0.01)

Expanding opportunities for borrowers without credit scores

Another major player in the home lending process is expanding capabilities to serve borrowers without credit scores. Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored company that provides mortgage funding to lenders, is automating the underwriting process for loan applicants with only alternative forms of credit — such as rental payments and other housing-related expenses.

The new procedure replaces a manual underwriting system that slows the loan review process and often blocks such borrowers from even gaining lender consideration.

Fannie Mae, another quasi-government driver of the home loan industry, implemented a similar program in 2016.

» MORE: How much home can you afford?

“We’re committed to supporting responsible lending and improving access to credit for all borrowers, including first-time home buyers, low- and moderate-income buyers and underserved populations,” David Lowman, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac, said in a news release. “It’s important that we keep pace with the evolving needs of the U.S. market and help support sustainable homeownership.”

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @halmbundrick.