Mortgage rates are on the rise, and the average 30-year fixed rate home loan is currently hovering right around 4.5%.  This time last year, rates were over 50 basis points lower, at 3.97%.

Image via of Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate

As you shop for home loans, it’s important to keep in mind that the numbers are reflected are national averages.  There are a number of factors that can greatly affect your rate, including your credit score, geographic location, and whether or not you purchase points.  Points are an upfront fee that can be purchased at the time of settlement in exchange for a lower interest rate.  

While rates are on the rise, they remain very low by historical standards.  The long-term average mortgage rate is just above 8%.  Experts predict that interest rates could hit the 5% mark by the end of 2018.