Current Mortgage Refinance Rates -- March 19, 2021: Rates Still Moving Upward

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

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

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Mortgage refinance rates continued their upward trend on Friday. Find out where rates stand today.

Mortgage refinance rates were up again on March 19, 2021. You should compare current mortgage refinance rates with the rate on your home loan to decide if refinancing makes sense. Although rates aren't at the historic lows they hit last year, they remain competitive and many borrowers could still save money by refinancing.

Here's what you need to know about today's average mortgage refinance rates:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed refinance loan 3.380%
20-year fixed refinance loan 3.102%
15-year fixed refinance loan 2.673%

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

30-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 30-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 3.380%, up 0.027% from yesterday's average of 3.353%. A mortgage refinance loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $442 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $59,254 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 20-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 3.102%, up 0.051% from yesterday's average of 3.051%. For each $100,000 refinanced at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $560. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $34,332 per $100,000 in refinanced debt.

A 20-year refinance loan comes with lower interest costs over time than a 30-year refinance loan. That's not just because the interest rate is lower, it's also because you're making payments for 10 fewer years. Unfortunately, your monthly payment is much higher because you've cut a decade off the time you have to pay back your loan.

15-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 15-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 2.673%, up 0.02% from yesterday's average of 2.653%. Refinancing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $675 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $21,493 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

Since the 15-year loan has a shorter payoff time than either the 20-year or 30-year loan, you're looking at even higher monthly payments. Of course, the total interest savings is even greater -- especially given that the interest rate on the 15-year loan is quite a bit lower than the loans with longer payoff times.

Should you refinance your mortgage right now?

Refinancing your mortgage can be a smart financial decision if you're able to reduce your interest rate and lower your monthly payments by securing a new home loan. However, there are a few key things to think about before you refinance.

First, if you extend your loan repayment term, you could end up paying higher total interest costs over time than with your existing mortgage. This can occur even if you qualify for a lower interest rate since you'd be paying interest over a longer time. You can avoid this issue by choosing a refinance loan with a shorter repayment term. Or you may decide you're willing to pay more interest over the life of your loan in exchange for a reduced monthly payment.

Second, you will have to consider closing costs, which are the upfront fees you'll have to pay to refinance your mortgage. The Ascent's research revealed that closing costs on a refinance loan for a median value home total anywhere from $5,000 to $12,500. However, your closing fees will depend on the amount of your home loan, your location, and your lender.

You should eventually make up for these closing costs due to your lower monthly payments -- but that can take time. If you save $200 per month by refinancing and pay $6,000 in closing costs, you would take 2.5 years to break even. It's important to do the math and consider whether you'll stay in your home long enough for refinancing to pay off.

In general, it is a good idea to refinance if you don't plan to move in the next few years and you can reduce your mortgage interest rate by 1% or more. With mortgage refinance rates near record lows, many borrowers will find it's a good time to refinance. Compare rates from the best mortgage refinance lenders to get some personalized offers and decide whether securing a new home loan now is right for you.

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