Today's Mortgage Rates -- December 31, 2021: Rates Up for Fixed-Rate Loans

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Thinking of buying a house? Check out today's average mortgage rates.

If you're hoping to become a homeowner early in the New Year, it's a good idea to pay attention to average mortgage rates. Here are today's average rates for Dec. 31, 2021 so you can get an idea of what homeownership might cost.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.367%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.104%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.542%
5/1 ARM 2.945%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.367%, up 0.001% from yesterday's average of 3.366%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $442 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $58,995 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 3.104%, up 0.036% from yesterday's average of 3.068%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $560 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $34,356 per $100,000 borrowed.

This is a cheaper loan over time than the 30-year loan. You're reducing the time you pay interest with this loan, and also paying interest at a lower rate. However, because you are making so many fewer payments, you do need to be aware that each one must be higher and that could put strain on your budget.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.542%, up 0.006% from yesterday's average of 2.536%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $669. The total costs of interest would add up to $20,378 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

Monthly payments are very high with this loan since your payoff period is very short. But you do save a lot over time and will become debt free relatively quickly. So if you want to own your home outright ASAP and can afford the higher monthly costs, this loan may be for you.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.945%, down 0.032% from yesterday's average of 2.977%. Since this is an adjustable-rate mortgage, you won't necessarily pay this rate for the life of the loan. It's guaranteed for five years and can change after that. If the financial index the loan is tied to goes up, you'll end up with higher loan costs and higher monthly payments.

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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