by Christy Bieber | Oct. 9, 2020
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Average mortgage rates haven't changed much for Oct. 9, remaining near record lows.
Mortgage rates have been relatively stable in recent weeks, remaining near record lows. Average rates for Oct. 9 show that not much has changed, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining below 3.00% and the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate loan still well below the 2.50% threshold. Here's what you need to know about today's average mortgage rates.
|Mortgage Type||Today's Interest Rate|
|30-year fixed mortgage||2.903%|
|20-year fixed mortgage||2.752%|
|15-year fixed mortgage||2.369%|
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The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.903%, up .001% from yesterday's average of 2.902%. At today's average rate, monthly principal and interest costs would total $416 per $100,000 in mortgage debt and total interest costs would add up to $49,901 per $100,000 over the life of the loan.
Check out The Ascent's mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you'd save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.
The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.752%, up .005% from yesterday's average of 2.747%. At today's average rate, you would owe $542 in principal and interest per month for each $100,000 borrowed and total lifetime interest costs would equal $30,144 per $100,000 in debt.
It may be surprising to see the payment on a 20-year loan is so much higher than on a 30-year loan, especially as the interest rate is slightly lower than on the longer loan. The reason is simple -- when you take a decade less to repay your loan, your monthly payment must be much higher. However, as you can see when comparing total interest costs over the life of the loan, paying off your loan in a shorter time frame provides considerable savings over time.
The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.369%, down .006% from yesterday's average of 2.375%. If you take a 15-year loan at today's average interest rate, monthly payments for principal and interest would equal $661 per $100,000 borrowed and total interest costs would add up to $18,915 per $100,000 in debt over the life of the loan.
The effects of the shorter timeline are even more pronounced on the 15-year loan. Although the average interest rate is well below the rate on the 30-year loan, the monthly payment is much higher. If you can afford this higher monthly bill, however, you'll save substantially on total interest costs over the life of the loan.
The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.291%, up .100% from yesterday's average of 3.191%. ARMs, or adjustable-rate mortgages, are different from the other loans mentioned here because the rate can adjust over time -- in this case, after five years.
Borrowers usually choose ARMs because the starting interest rate is below the interest rate on a fixed-rate loan, which makes it worth the risk that rates could rise later on. When the starting rate is already higher than on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, an ARM does not make sense. Borrowers should opt for the guaranteed low rate instead, so they never have to worry about payments going up.
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:
Even at today's low interest rates, a mortgage is generally the largest and costliest debt you'll take on. You want to make sure you're being offered the most competitive rates and terms before locking in. To do that, comparison shop among the best mortgage lenders and get quotes from at least three so you can be certain your loan is as affordable as possible.
The Ascent team partners with market-leading data provider Optimal Blue to track the seven-day average of daily mortgage rates that actual borrowers are locking in nationwide. Learn more about our mortgage rates tracking methodology.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
The Ascent's in-house mortgages expert recommends this company to find a low rate - and in fact he used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See The Ascent's full advertiser disclosure here.
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