Today's Mortgage Rates -- August 26, 2021: 30- and 15-Year Loans Are Higher

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 26, 2021

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Hollow model home on top of stacks of cash with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Should you apply for a mortgage today? Here's how rates are looking.

Mortgage rates have risen since yesterday for the 30- and 15-year loan, but the 20-year loan and 5/1 ARM are lower. Here's what rates look like on Aug. 26, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.080%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.822%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.335%
5/1 ARM 2.812%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.080%, up 0.001% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $426.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. That doesn't include added expenses like property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.822%, down 0.008% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $546.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $120.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $22,462.00 in interest over the course of your repayment period for every $100,000 you borrow.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.335%, up 0.004% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $659.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $233.00 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $34,742.00 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.812%, down 0.117% from yesterday. You'll lock in a lower interest rate initially on a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year mortgage. But be careful, because once your first five years of repaying your loan are up, your rate could climb, making your mortgage more expensive over time. If you can swing the monthly payment that comes with a 20-year mortgage, you'll get a similar rate right now to the 5/1 ARM, only that rate will be guaranteed throughout your entire repayment period.

Should I lock in my mortgage rate now?

A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a specific interest rate for a certain 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 if rates climb between now and when you close on your home loan.

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 very attractive, historically speaking. 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 loan if rates fall before you close on your mortgage. While today's rates are very 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

If you're ready to sign up for a mortgage, contact a bunch of lenders to see what rates they offer you. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score at the time of your application, the more competitive a rate you're likely to snag. You should also make sure to inquire about closing costs on your mortgage. The last thing you want is to go with a lender with a low interest rate whose fees are so high they negate that savings.

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