Current Mortgage Rates -- Dec 20, 2021: Rates Down for the 30-Year Loan

House keys hanging from a key hook with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Mortgage rates change over time. If you're thinking of buying a home, check out today's average mortgage rates to see how they're trending.

On Dec. 20, 2021, mortgage rates are mixed, with some trending up and others down. Your personalized rate is based on your financial credentials, but the national average mortgage rates offered to the typical buyer can also affect how much you end up paying.

Check out today's average mortgage rates to get some idea of what your loan might cost if you're offered a typical rate from a lender.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.327%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.079%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.656%
5/1 ARM 2.730%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.327%, down 0.006% from Friday's average of 3.333%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $439 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $58,200 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 3.079%, down 0.013% from Friday's average of 3.092%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your total monthly principal and interest payment would be $559. Total interest costs would be $34,055 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

Although cheaper over time, this loan is more expensive on a monthly basis than the 30-year fixed-rate loan. Both the low total costs and high monthly payments can be explained by the shorter payoff time as making fewer payments saves you money on interest but necessitates each payment being higher.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.656%, up 0.078% from Friday's average of 2.578%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $674 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $21,348 per $100,000 borrowed.

With an even shorter payoff time, monthly payments become very high on this loan but total costs over time are considerably lower. Buyers need to consider the tradeoffs of a short-term loan like this, as they'll be debt free much sooner but will need to be prepared for much higher monthly payments during the life of their loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.730%, up 0.049% from Friday's average of 2.681%. Since the rate is adjustable on this loan, it presents a greater risk than the other borrowing options. Your rate is locked in only for the first five years and then moves with a financial index. If rates rise, monthly payments and total loan costs will both end up higher over time.

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.

Our Research Expert