Current Mortgage Rates -- March 22, 2021: Rates Begin the Week Up Again

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on March 22, 2021

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

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Average mortgage rates rose again to start this week. Find out what this means for home buyers.

As we move towards the end of March, mortgage rates rose again today. Rates are now well up from recent historic lows, but they still remain fairly competitive and many would-be home buyers can get an affordable loan.

If you're thinking about borrowing to buy a home, check out average mortgage rates for March 22, 2021 to see how much a loan could cost you.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.293%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.027%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.538%
5/1 ARM 3.072%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.293%, up 0.021% from Friday's average of 3.272%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $438 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Total interest costs would add up to $57,525 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 3.027%, up 0.009% from Friday's average of 3.018%. At today's average rate, the monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $556 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $33,428 per $100,000 borrowed.

With a 20-year mortgage, you pay interest for a full decade less than with a 30-year mortgage. This means you save a lot of money on interest over time. But by cutting off a decade's worth of payments, your monthly payments become much higher. This tradeoff may be worth it for some home buyers, as long as you can afford the higher monthly cost.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.538%, up 0.013% from Friday's average of 2.525%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $669 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $20,344 per $100,000 borrowed.

By reducing your payoff time even further, you raise your monthly payments even higher with the 15-year loan than the 20-year mortgage. Of course, as you can see, the total interest saved over time is considerable.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.072%, up 0.059% from Friday's average of 3.013%. This initial rate is guaranteed for a period of five years only. After that time, rates can adjust once annually. Taking the risk of rates going up can make sense if you're able to save considerably over the 30-year fixed-rate loan. But since the starting interest rate isn't much lower with the 5/1 ARM than the 30-year option, you're better off with the fixed-rate loan.

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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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.

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