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Mortgage rates on Dec. 21 ticked up a bit on fixed-rate loans but are still near record lows. Here's what you need to know about today's average rates.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.777%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.614%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.277%
5/1 ARM 3.022%


30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.777%, up .004% from Friday's average of 2.773%. At today's average rate, you'd pay $410 per month in principal and interest per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $47,482 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 2.614%, up .018% from Friday's average of 2.596%. If you borrow at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $535 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $28,514 per $100,000 borrowed. 

When you take out a 20-year mortgage, there's a trade-off you must make. You'll have to accept monthly payments that are much higher than on the 30-year loan. But you pay off your loan a decade sooner, reducing total interest costs. 

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.277%, up .009% from Friday's average of 2.268%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $656 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $18,142 per $100,000 borrowed. 

Choosing a 15-year loan requires a similar trade-off. You accept a higher monthly payment than with the 20-year or 30-year loan but total interest costs are even lower. 

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.022%, down .156% from Friday's average of 3.178%. ARM stands for adjustable-rate mortgage and a 5/1 ARM in particular means your rates could begin adjusting after five years. Since the starting interest rate is higher than on a fixed-rate loan and chances are good it will only go up further since rates are currently near record lows, an ARM makes little sense right now. 

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.