Up-close view of well-kept suburban home with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Mortgage rates on Dec. 4 have moved up a bit on all but the 20-year fixed-rate loan. Here's what you need to know about today's average rates.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.789%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.719%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.303%
5/1 ARM 3.646%


30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.789%, up .002% compared with yesterday's average rate of 2.787%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $410 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Total interest costs would add up to $47,712 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

Check out The Ascent's mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you'd save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.719%, down .001% compared with yesterday's average rate of 2.720%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $541 per $100,000 borrowed. The total costs of interest would add up to $29,753 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

You'll notice that you're paying more per month but less total interest over time compared with the 30-year fixed-rate loan. That's explained by the fact you have a decade less time to repay your loan -- and you also pay interest for 10 fewer years. 

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.303%, up .014% compared with yesterday's average rate of 2.289%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $658 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. For each $100,000 you borrow at today's average rate, total interest costs would add up to $18,360.

Just as with the 20-year fixed-rate loan, the 15-year alternative comes with higher monthly payments but lower total interest costs than mortgages with a longer repayment timeline. 

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.646%, up .051% compared with yesterday's average rate of 3.595%. With a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, you'd be guaranteed your initial starting interest rate only for the first five years. Since rates are near record lows right now, chances are good your rate would rise once it begins adjusting. You are better off with a fixed-rate loan, as fixed-rate alternatives offer lower starting interest rates and you don't have to worry about them adjusting upward. 

Should I lock my mortgage rate now?

A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a certain interest rate for a specified period of time -- usually 30 days, though you may be able to secure your rate for up to 60 days. You'll generally pay a fee to lock in your mortgage rate, but that way, you're protected in case rates climb between now and when you actually close on your mortgage.

If you plan to close on your home within the next 30 days, then it pays to lock in your mortgage rate based on today's rates -- especially since they're so competitive. But if your closing is more than 30 days away, you may want to choose a floating rate lock instead for what will usually be a higher fee, but one that could save you money in the long run. A floating rate lock lets you secure a lower rate on your mortgage if rates fall prior to your closing, and while today's rates are still quite low, we don't know if rates will go up or down over the next few months. As such, it pays to:

  • LOCK if closing in days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 45 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 60 days

Before locking in, you should get rate quotes from at least three of the best mortgage lenders to ensure you're getting a loan at the most competitive possible rate.