Current Mortgage Rates -- March 18, 2021: Rates Are Up Once Again

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on March 18, 2021

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Model home surrounded by stacks of coins and money bag with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Here's what today's mortgage rates look like. Are you ready to apply for a home loan?

Today's mortgage rates are higher than yesterday's. Here's what they look like:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.248%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.981%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.508%
5/1 ARM 3.003%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.248%, up 0.018% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $435.32 for every $100,000 you borrow. That doesn't include added expenses like property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.981%, up 0.048% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $553.40 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $118.08 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $23,897.79 in interest over the course of your repayment period for every $100,000 you borrow.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.508%, up 0.022% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $667.17 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $231.85 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $36,623.13 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.003%, up 0.076% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you're guaranteed your initial interest rate for five years, but from there, your rate can increase annually -- either upward or downward. Right now, you will pay a lower interest rate on your mortgage with a 5/1 ARM than you will with a 30-year loan. But that discount comes at a cost -- the risk of your rate going up. Think about whether you're willing to take on that risk before choosing an ARM.

Should I lock in my mortgage rate now?

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 pretty 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 still fairly competitive despite a recent climb, 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

Mortgage rates are sitting at higher levels today than they were a month ago -- but that doesn't mean you won't get a good deal if you apply now. In fact, if you have great credit and a low debt-to-income ratio, you might still qualify for a very competitive rate. If you're ready to apply for a home loan, shop around with different mortgage lenders so you can compare your options. You may find that one lender is able to give you a lower rate than another, and reviewing different offers will help you determine whether or not you're getting a good deal.

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).

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