Current Mortgage Rates -- Feb. 1, 2021: Rates Largely Stable
by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on Feb. 1, 2021
Mortgage rates stayed mostly stable on Feb. 1, 2021, with some loan types seeing no change at all from Friday. Here's what to know if you're buying a home.
On the first day of February, mortgage rates remain unchanged from Friday on several loans. If you're considering purchasing a home as the new month gets underway, here's what you need to know about average mortgage rates on Feb. 1, 2021.
|Mortgage Type||Today's Interest Rate|
|30-year fixed mortgage||2.800%|
|20-year fixed mortgage||2.579%|
|15-year fixed mortgage||2.208%|
30-year mortgage rates
The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.800%, unchanged from Friday's average. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $411 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $47,922 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.
20-year mortgage rates
The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.579%, down 0.032% from Friday's average of 2.611%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $534 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $28,102 per $100,000 borrowed.
As you can see, when you shorten your loan repayment time, total interest costs decline but monthly payments go up. That happens because you aren't paying interest for as long, but you are making so many fewer payments that each one needs to be higher.
15-year mortgage rates
The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.208%, unchanged from Friday's average. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $653 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. For each $100,000 you borrow at today's average rate, total interest costs would add up to $17,564
Again, interest costs are even lower with this loan than the 20-year fixed-rate option, but monthly payments go up even more since you take another five years off the time you have to pay back the loan.
The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.194% up 0.01% from Friday's average of 3.184%. When an ARM has a lower starting interest rate than a fixed-rate loan, it may make sense under some circumstances to secure an adjustable-rate mortgage -- even though these loans are riskier. Since that's not the case now and since rates are almost sure to rise from their current level, which is near record lows, it's not advisable to secure an ARM 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, 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.
The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022
Mortgage rates are on the rise — and fast. But they’re still relatively low by historical standards. So, if you want to take advantage of rates before they climb too high, you’ll want to find a lender who can help you secure the best rate possible.
That is where Better Mortgage comes in.
You can get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes, with no hard credit check, and lock your rate at any time. Another plus? They don’t charge origination or lender fees (which can be as high as 2% of the loan amount for some lenders).
About the Author
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.