Today's Mortgage Rates -- February 16, 2021: Rates Mixed but Mostly Steady

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Mortgage rates are mixed today. Are you ready to apply for a home loan?

Today's mortgage rates are mixed compared to yesterday. This is what they look like now:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.838%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.604%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.230%
5/1 ARM 3.210%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.838%, up 0.003% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $412.60 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 2.604%, up 0.011% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $534.98 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $122.38 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $20,138.14 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 2.230%, down 0.005% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $654.25 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $241.65 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $30,770.31 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.210%, unchanged from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, your initial interest rate applies for a five-year period, after which it adjusts once annually, either upward or downward. Since there's no rate-related discount to be had with a 5/1 ARM right now, you're better off signing a fixed-rate mortgage at a lower rate.

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 still quite low. 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, and while today's rates are very competitive, 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 apply for a mortgage, gather offers from a few different lenders rather than settle for the first offer you get. Each lender sets its own rate and closing costs, so you may find that one is much more competitive than another. At the same time, it pays to do what you can to make yourself the most desirable home loan candidate possible. That means working to boost your credit score, pay off some existing debt, and save funds for a solid down payment.

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