A miniature model home surrounded by stacks of coins, a money bag, and an alarm clock with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images.

While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See our full advertiser disclosure here.

Mortgage rates on Dec. 9 are still close to record lows, with some ticking down a bit. This means homebuyers still have a good chance to lock in at a very competitive rate. Here's what you need to know about mortgage rates today.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.796%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.639%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.299%
5/1 ARM 3.704%


30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.796%, down .001% from yesterday's average rate of 2.797%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $411 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Over the life of the loan, total interest costs would be $47,845 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. 

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 2.639%, down .031% from yesterday's average rate of 2.670%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $537 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would be $28,808 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan. 

Taking out a 20-year mortgage means you'll be debt free in 10 fewer years than if you take out a 30-year loan. You'll save a decade of interest costs, which is why your total interest over the life of the loan is so much lower. Unfortunately, you'll face higher monthly payments to get your loan paid off on time -- but the interest savings may be worth this trade-off. 

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.299%, up .009% from yesterday's average rate of 2.290%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $657. For each $100,000 you borrow at today's average rate, total interest costs would add up to $18,326. 

Again, you'll face higher monthly costs here in exchange for becoming debt-free sooner and paying far lower total interest costs over time. If you can afford the monthly costs, this may be worth it to you. 

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.704%, up .054% from yesterday's average rate of 3.650%. Adjustable-rate mortgages don't make sense right now. Since rates are near record lows, it's very unlikely they'd adjust downward in five years when your introductory rate expires. And the introductory rate is above the average interest cost on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, so you don't even get any short-term benefits for taking on the risk of rising rates. 

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.