by Christy Bieber | Oct. 14, 2020
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Low mortgage rates are still available to homebuyers and refinancers, but be sure to shop around for the right loan.
As the fall season arrives in full force, the housing market remains competitive and mortgage rates remain near record lows for another day. Here's what you need to know about current rates for Oct. 14.
|Mortgage Type||Today's Interest Rate|
|30-year fixed mortgage||2.900%|
|20-year fixed mortgage||2.781%|
|15-year fixed mortgage||2.378%|
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The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.900%, down .009% from yesterday's rate of 2.909%. If you borrow at today's average rate, your principal and interest payments would total $416 per $100,000 you borrow and your total interest costs would be $49,843 per $100,000 in debt 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 2.781%, down .003% from yesterday's average of 2.784%. The monthly principal and interest payments for a 20-year loan at today's average rate would total $544 per $100,000 in debt and total interest costs over the life of the loan would be $30,488 per $100,000 borrowed.
The 20-year loan has an average rate slightly below the 30-year loan, but total interest costs over the life of the loan are much lower while the monthly principal and interest payment are higher. When you have just 20 years to repay your debt instead of 30, it stands to reason your monthly payments would cost more -- but since you're paying interest for a full decade less, you'll pay a lot less interest over time.
The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.378%%, up .009% from yesterday's average rate of 2.369%. At today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $661 for each $100,000 in debt while total interest costs would add up to $18,991 per $100,000 borrowed.
With the 15-year loan, you're paying off your debt in five fewer years than even the 20-year loan. While the average interest rate is well below the rate on the 30-year or 20-year loan, the very short payment timeline means much higher monthly payments but much lower total interest costs over time.
The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.486%, up .075% from yesterday's average rate of 3.411%. With the average rate on the ARM above the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, now is not a good time to take out this type of loan.
See, ARMS are adjustable-rate mortgages with their rate tied to a financial index. After five years, your rates could rise if the index does. Since rates are near record lows right now, that's almost assuredly what would happen. When you can lock in at a rate near record lows, there's little reason to take a chance on an adjustable-rate loan and potentially see your monthly payments and total interest costs go 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:
Before you decide to lock in, get several quotes from the best mortgage lenders as rates and terms can vary from one lender to the next. By shopping around, you'll get the best mortgage given your financial situation, and you can take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity to borrow at record low rates.
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.
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