by Maurie Backman | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on Jan. 5, 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.
Mortgage rates are staying low in January, at least so far. Should you apply now?
Mortgage rates are holding steady at record lows early in the new year. This is what they look like today:
|Mortgage Type||Today's Interest Rate|
|30-year fixed mortgage||2.752%|
|20-year fixed mortgage||2.677%|
|15-year fixed mortgage||2.210%|
The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.752%, down 0.013% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $408.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. That doesn't include added expenses like property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.
Check out The Ascent's mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you'd save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.
The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.677%, down 0.022% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $538.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $130.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $17,774.00 in interest over the course of your repayment period for every $100,000 you borrow.
The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.212%, up 0.006% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $653.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $245.00 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $29,467.00 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.
The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.226%, up 0.138% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you lock in your initial interest rate for five years, but from there, it can either go up or down once a year, depending on market conditions. An adjustable-rate mortgage really only makes sense when your initial rate is lower than what you'll get with a fixed loan. Since that's not the case right now, you're better off skipping the 5/1 ARM.
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 still very low. 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, and while today's rates are very competitive, we don't know if rates will go up or down over the next few months. As such, it pays to:
If you're ready to get a mortgage, make sure to reach out to a number of lenders to see what rates you're eligible for and what closing costs you'll pay to finalize your loan. Your goal should be to snag the lowest rate and the lowest fees possible to reap the most savings.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
The Ascent's in-house mortgages expert recommends this company to find a low rate - and in fact he used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See The Ascent's full advertiser disclosure here.
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.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.