Today's Mortgage Rates -- August 16, 2021: Rates Up for 2 Popular Loan Options

by Christy Bieber | Published on Aug. 16, 2021

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Buying a home? Check out how rates are trending so you can get an idea of what your loan might cost.

Average mortgage rates are up for some loans and down for others today. If you are thinking about buying a home, it's a good idea to monitor how rates are trending so you can decide if it's a good time to apply for a mortgage loan.

Here are today's average rates for Aug. 16, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.098%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.884%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.347%
5/1 ARM 3.074%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.098%, up 0.001% from Friday's average of 3.097%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $427. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $53,687 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.884%, up 0.015% from Friday's average of 2.869%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $549 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $31,714 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 20-year mortgage will save you money over time compared with a 30-year mortgage because you won't pay interest for as long. But since you have to pay off your loan so quickly, you will make much higher monthly payments. This could be prohibitively expensive for some home buyers.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.347%, down 0.007% from Friday's average of 2.354%. At today's average rate, the monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $660 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $18,730 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

This loan is even more expensive per month than the 20-year loan, but it provides the maximum interest savings over time. If you want to prioritize paying as little as possible for your mortgage over time and don't mind higher monthly payments, this loan is right for you.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.074%, down 0.008% from Friday's average of 3.082%. Your monthly payment and total interest costs could change over time. That's because your initial rate is locked in only for the first five years, after which time it could adjust upward. Consider carefully whether you are willing to take on this risk.

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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