Current Mortgage Rates -- February 26, 2021: Rates Up on Fixed-Rate Loans

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on Feb. 26, 2021

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Large, modern-style home with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Thinking of buying a home? Here's how average mortgage rates are trending today.

On Feb. 26, 2021, mortgage rates went up on fixed-rate loans. Rates repeatedly hit record lows last year, and while they've been drifting upward in recent days, they're still competitive. Take a look at today's average mortgage rates to see how they're trending.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.090%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.792%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.425%
5/1 ARM 3.261%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.090%, up 0.047% from yesterday's average of 3.043%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $426. Total interest costs would add up to $53,530 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.792%, up 0.041% from yesterday's average of 2.751%. At today's average rate, the monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $544 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $30,618 per $100,000 borrowed.

Shortening your payoff timeline by 10 years compared with the 30-year loan results in both higher monthly payments as well as lower total interest costs over time. That makes sense, since you're reducing the time you pay interest and making many fewer payments.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.425%, up 0.043% from yesterday's average of 2.382%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $553 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $19,388 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

Since a 15-year loan has a very short payment timeline, monthly payments are much higher than with the 20-year or 30-year loan. But since you're also paying interest for a very short time, you'll see considerable savings over the life of the loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.261%, down 0.055% from yesterday's average of 3.316%. An ARM makes sense only if the starting interest rate is considerably lower than the rate on fixed-rate loans. That's not the case right now. In fact, the starting rate on the ARM is above the 30-year fixed-rate loan. Since your rates will probably adjust upward once they begin adjusting, it's not a great idea to gamble on an adjustable-rate mortgage at this 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.

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