Current Mortgage Rates -- August 17, 2021: All Rates Drop

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 17, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Large, modern-style home with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images

Here's what mortgage rates look like. Should you apply now?

Mortgage rates have fallen from yesterday. Here's what they look like on Aug. 17, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.089%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.843%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.333%
5/1 ARM 2.962%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.089%, down 0.009% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $426.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. That doesn't include added expenses like property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.843%, down 0.041% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $547.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $121.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $22,176.00 in interest over the course of your repayment period for every $100,000 you borrow.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.333%, down 0.014% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $659.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $233.00 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $34,843.00 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.962%, down 0.112% from yesterday. You'll lock in a lower interest rate initially with a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year mortgage, but after five years, that lower rate could climb. Since the interest rate on a 30-year loan is so competitive right now, it pays to stick to a fixed mortgage, especially if you're buying what you think is your forever home.

Should I lock in my mortgage rate now?

A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a specific interest rate for a certain 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 if rates climb between now and when you close on your home loan.

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 very attractive, historically speaking. 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 loan if rates fall before you close on your mortgage. While today's rates are extremely 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 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

If you're ready to get a home loan, contact a few different mortgage lenders to see what rates they have available based on your credit score and other factors. And also, see what closing costs you'll be charged to put that loan into place. It's important to compare both figures to help ensure that you end up getting a good deal.

About the Author