Mortgage points are a fee you can pay at the start of the mortgage to lower your interest rate for the duration of your fixed-rate mortgage. Each point costs 1% of your total loan amount. The interest rate reduction depends on the lender, but it is common to lower your interest rate by 0.25% in exchange for every point purchased.
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Mortgage Rate History: 1971 to Today. Homebuyers who have recently borrowed fixed-rate mortgages have benefited from interest rates at historical lows. After reaching a high of nearly 19% in 1981, mortgage rates have steadily declined and remained in the low single digits.
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Forecasts for 2019 put rates somewhere around 3.85% by the end of the year. That’s down from forecasts earlier in the year that called for rates in the 5s. Rates have been steadily dropping since.