Today's Mortgage Rates -- February 17, 2021: Rates Up for Most Loans

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on Feb. 17, 2021

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Small, hollow model home sitting on top of wrapped stacks of cash with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic to the left.

Image source: Getty Images

What happened with mortgage rates on Feb. 17? Find out here.

Mortgage rates rose slightly today for most loans as we move further into the second half of February. If you're considering purchasing a home, the good news is that average interest rates are still very competitive. Locking in your home loan could help you to ensure your interest costs are affordable throughout the life of your loan.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.867%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.616%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.261%
5/1 ARM 2.820%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.867%, up 0.029% from yesterday's average of 2.838%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $414 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Total interest costs would add up to $49,207 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.616%, up 0.012% from yesterday's average of 2.604%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $536 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $28,537 per $100,000 borrowed.

You'll notice the total interest costs are lower than with the 30-year loan, but monthly payments are higher. Since you're shortening your repayment timeline, you have to pay more in each payment you make. But you pay interest for a shorter time, so you save considerably on the total costs of borrowing.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.261%, up 0.031% from yesterday's average of 2.230%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $656 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. The total costs of interest would add up to $18,007 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

Since you make the payoff time even shorter with a 15-year loan than with either a 20-year or 30-year mortgage, you will save a fortune on interest with this loan option. Of course, the price of this savings is much higher monthly payments.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.820%, down 0.39% from yesterday's average of 3.210%. This rate is almost assuredly going to adjust upward at the end of its initial lock period due to the fact rates remain near historic lows. Because of this, it likely makes sense to choose one of the fixed-rate options and lock in your low rate for the life of your loan.

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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