Today's Mortgage Rates -- January 21, 2021: Rates Are Mixed

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Mortgage rates have fluctuated lately but are still competitive. Should you apply today?

Mortgage rates are mixed today compared to yesterday, with some up and some down. This is what they look like now:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.838%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.626%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.275%
5/1 ARM 3.031%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.838%, down 0.004% 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 2.626%, up 0.027% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $536.16 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $123.56 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $19,855.94 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 2.275%, up 0.013% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $656.48 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $243.88 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $30,367.58 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.031%, down 0.199% from yesterday. If you get a 5/1 ARM today, you'll pay 3.031% on your mortgage for five years, after which point the interest rate on your loan will adjust once annually. That rate could go down, or it could climb, but since it's higher today than what you'll get with a fixed loan, a 5/1 ARM makes little sense.

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 very 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 quite 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, contact a few different lenders and see what rates they're able to offer you based on your credit score, existing level of debt, and income. But don't forget to account for closing costs, which are the fees you'll pay to finalize your loan. Closing costs typically amount to 2% to 5% of a home loan's value, and they can be negotiable. If one lender offers you a lower mortgage interest rate but higher costs at closing, it pays to see if you can bring those down. Otherwise, it could pay to accept an offer of a higher interest rate but much lower fees.

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