Current Mortgage Rates -- April 21, 2021: Rates Tick Down

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Check out today's average mortgage rates if you're considering buying a home.

On April 21, 2021, average mortgage rates are down a bit for all loans. Rates have been mixed in recent weeks, moving up some days and down others. Take a look at today's average rates to see what interest rate you might qualify for when getting a home loan:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.169%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.954%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.432%
5/1 ARM 2.990%

Data source: The Ascent's national mortgage interest rate tracking.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.169%, down 0.011% from yesterday's average of 3.180%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $431 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $55,078 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.954%, down 0.018% from yesterday's average of 2.972%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $552. The total costs of interest would add up to $32,551 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

Interest rate and loan repayment time both play a crucial role in determining how much your mortgage costs. A 20-year loan has a lower rate than the 30-year, but because you pay your loan for so much less time, your monthly payments are higher. The tradeoff is that total borrowing costs are much lower.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.432%, down 0.008% from yesterday's average of 2.440%. At today's average rate, the monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $664 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $19,447 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year mortgage also has a lower interest rate than loans with a longer repayment timeline -- and total costs over time are much lower as well. Of course, monthly payments are far higher, but you'll make far fewer of them.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.990%, down 0.033% from yesterday's average of 3.023%. While it may seem attractive to borrow at a lower interest rate than the average rate on the 30-year loan, you need to consider the risk. Since your rate and monthly payment could adjust upward with this loan after five years, you may be better off with the fixed-rate loan instead.

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, but 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 still pretty 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, historically speaking, 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 7 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

To find out what rates are available to you, compare rates from at least three of the best mortgage lenders before locking in.

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