Current Mortgage Rates -- August 23, 2021: Rates Down for 15-Year Loan

by Christy Bieber | Published on Aug. 23, 2021

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Model home surrounded by stacks of coins and money bag with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Is now a good time to borrow for a home? Find out what interest rates a typical borrower would pay for a mortgage today.

Average mortgage rates are mixed today, with some down, others up, and the 30-year unchanged. Although each borrower's rate is determined by their credit score and other financial factors, keeping tabs on average rates is helpful. It gives you an idea of what a typical borrower might pay for a loan.

Here are today's average rates for Aug. 23, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.070%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.786%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.324%
5/1 ARM 2.921%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.070%, unchanged from Friday's average. If you borrow at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $425 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $53,140 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.786%, up 0.013% from Friday's average of 2.773%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $544 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. You'd pay total interest costs of $30,547 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan if you chose this loan option.

The repayment timeline of your loan affects total interest costs over time as well as monthly payments. Because the 20-year loan comes with a shorter payoff time than the 30-year loan, each monthly payment must be higher to repay the loan in full a decade sooner. But you save money in interest over time since you pay interest for a decade less.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.324%, down 0.004% from Friday's average of 2.328%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $659 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. The total costs of interest would add up to $18,536 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

As the loan with the shortest repayment timeline, the 15-year mortgage saves you considerable money over time due to the fact you don't pay interest for nearly as long as with the 20-year or 30-year loan. But you must make much higher monthly payments.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.921%, down 0.047% from Friday's average of 2.968%. This rate is fixed for the first five years only, after that it can adjust once annually. There's a risk that rates will rise, which you don't face if you instead choose the 30-year fixed-rate loan. Consider this risk carefully, because if your rate goes up your loan will become more expensive to repay.

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 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 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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