Current Mortgage Rates -- March 8, 2021: Rates Mixed, but Up on Most Loans

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on March 8, 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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Thinking of applying for a home loan? Check out today's average mortgage rates.

Average mortgage rates increased for most loans on Monday March 8, 2021. Although rates have been rising in recent weeks and are up from record lows, they're still competitive.

If you're thinking about borrowing to buy a home, check out today's average interest rates to see how much your loan might cost you.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.152%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.813%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.439%
5/1 ARM 2.865%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.152%, down 0.005% from Friday's average of 3.157%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $430 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Total interest costs would add up to $54,745 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.813%, up 0.005% from Friday's average of 2.808%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $545 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Over the life of the loan, total interest costs would be $30,868 per $100,000 in mortgage debt.

Loans with shorter payoff times have higher monthly payments but cost less in total interest over time. That's the case here with the 20-year mortgage versus the 30-year loan. Although the interest rate is lower, you make payments for a decade less, so monthly costs are inevitably higher.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.439%, up 0.005% from Friday's average of 2.434%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your total monthly principal and interest payment would be $664. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $19,506 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year loan comes with a lower interest rate than the 30-year or 20-year loans. This low rate, coupled with the short payoff time, means total interest costs are extremely low. Of course, since you make so many fewer payments, each one is much higher.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.865%, up 0.047% from Friday's average of 2.818%. Although the rate on the ARM is a bit below the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage right now, ARMs are riskier loans as your rate could adjust upward after the initial five-year period when it's fixed is over. Taking on the risk makes sense only if your starting interest rate is considerably lower than on fixed-rate alternatives.

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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