Current Mortgage Rates -- October 20, 2021: Rates Tick Up

by Christy Bieber | Published on Oct. 20, 2021

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

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Did mortgage rates go up or down today? Find out about average mortgage rates on Oct. 20, 2021.

Mortgage rates are up for all loans today. If you are buying a home, you should see how rates are trending and compare the cost of interest on fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages with different repayment timelines. This will help you decide which loan is right for you.

Here are average mortgage rates for Oct. 20, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.270%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.957%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.526%
5/1 ARM 3.139%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.270%, up 0.003% from yesterday's average of 3.267%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $436 per $100,000 borrowed. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $57,070 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.957%, up 0.023% from yesterday's average of 2.934%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $552 per month for each $100,000 borrowed. The total costs of interest would add up to $32,587 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

You'll pay less over time with this loan than the 30-year mortgage but more each month. Required monthly payments increase when your payoff time is reduced, but your total costs over time decrease because you don't pay interest for as long.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.526%, up 0.013% from yesterday's average of 2.513%. If you borrow at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $668 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would be $20,242 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

This loan has such a short payoff schedule that payments may be prohibitively high for some would-be homeowners. Make sure that you're able to fit them comfortably into your budget and that the interest cost savings over time justifies paying so much in housing costs each month.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.139%, up 0.06% from yesterday's average of 3.079%. This rate can adjust after five years, unlike with fixed-rate options. You take the risk of your rate going up and monthly payment rising, and this risk may not be worth it since the starting rate isn't much lower than the one on the 30-year fixed-rate loan currently.

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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