Current Mortgage Rates -- March 26, 2021: Rates Down on Fixed-Rate Loans

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Buying a home? Here's how mortgage rates are trending on March 26, 2021.

With March drawing to a close, average mortgage rates went down for fixed-rate loan options on Friday March 26, 2021. Prospective homeowners should shop for rates carefully. While rates have been moving up compared with recent lows, there are still plenty of opportunities to qualify for an affordable home loan -- especially with rates falling a bit today.

Here's what you need to know about today's average mortgage rates if you're in the process of buying a house.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.306%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.996%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.583%
5/1 ARM 3.133%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.306%, down 0.015% from yesterday's average of 3.321%. 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 $57,783 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.996%, down 0.022% from yesterday's average of 3.018%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $554 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $33,055 per $100,000 borrowed.

Your interest rate and payoff timeline both affect your monthly payment and total interest owed over time. Although the 20-year loan has a lower average rate than the 30-year loan, its shorter payoff time means monthly payments cost more but total interest costs are lower.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.583%, down 0.011% from yesterday's average of 2.594%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $671. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $20,727 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year loan has a shorter payoff time than the 20-year or 30-year loan, so it comes with higher monthly payments but substantial interest savings over the life of the loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.133%, up 0.047% from yesterday's average of 3.066%. Although this starting interest rate is lower than on the 30-year fixed-rate loan, it is guaranteed only for five years. You take a big risk by taking on this type of loan because loan interest rates could increase after that initial five year period, making your monthly payments higher. Take this into account when deciding if an ARM is right for you.

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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