Today's Mortgage Rates -- December 15, 2021: Rates Up for Most Loans

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How are mortgage rates looking in the middle of December? Check out today's average rates here.

As we move into the middle of December, average mortgage rates are up for most loans except the 15-year mortgage. Although you will be offered a personalized rate based on your financial credentials, national average rates will influence the amount your home loan costs you.

Check out average mortgage rates for Dec. 15, 2021 to learn about how rates are trending today.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.344%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.072%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.576%
5/1 ARM 2.716%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.344%, up 0.002% from yesterday's average of 3.342%. At today's average rate, you'd pay $440 per month in principal and interest per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $58,538 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 3.072%, up 0.009% from yesterday's average of 3.063%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $558 per $100,000 borrowed. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $33,970 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

This loan costs much less over time than the 30-year loan, but the lower total cost comes at the price of higher monthly payments. If you reduce the time you pay off your loan, you won't pay interest for as long. But you also must make higher payments every month to repay your debt on schedule.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.576%, down 0.018% from yesterday's average of 2.594%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $670 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $20,667 per $100,000 borrowed.

Although monthly payments are much higher on the 15-year loan than the 30-year or 20-year, the total payoff costs are lower. You'll have to consider the tradeoff between high monthly payments and low total costs or paying more over time but less each month.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.716%, down 0.018% from yesterday's average of 2.742%. An ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage. Rates can change after five years and they are tied to a financial index that dictates the direction they move. There's a good chance that rates will rise, which could make total loan costs higher over time and raise your monthly payments as well.

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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