Current Mortgage Rates -- March 12, 2021: Rates Continue Trending Higher

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Average mortgage rates are up again on Friday. Check out today's average rates to find out what it would cost to get a home loan.

On March 12, 2021, mortgage rates continued moving upward. Although rates are well above recent record lows, they still remain competitive. Homeowners should consider locking in a rate soon as rates have been trending up.

Check out today's average rates to see what you could expect to pay for a home loan:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.195%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.857%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.489%
5/1 ARM 3.110%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.195%,up 0.004% from yesterday's average of 3.191%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $432 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $55,590 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.857%,up 0.009% from yesterday's average of 2.848%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $547 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $31,392 per $100,000 borrowed.

With a shorter repayment timeline than the 30-year loan, a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage has a higher monthly payment but lower total interest costs. Think about whether the higher monthly payments are affordable or whether you'd prefer to keep your payments as low as possible even if doing so means paying more interest over time.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.489%, up 0.011% from yesterday's average of 2.478%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $666 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $19,929 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year mortgage has the lowest total interest costs, but the highest monthly payments compared with the 30-year and 20-year loans. Think about your financial needs when you decide which option is best.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate today is 3.110%, up 0.01% from yesterday's average of 3.100%. This fixed starting rate is only guaranteed for five years. After that, it can begin adjusting annually and there's a chance it could go up. Because of this risk, and the fact that the rate isn't far below the 30-year fixed-rate loan, many borrowers will find they are better off with a fixed-rate option.

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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