Today's Mortgage Rates -- January 27, 2021: Rates Mixed

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Mortgage rates went up for some loans and down for others on Jan. 27. How does this affect home buyers?

On Jan. 27, mortgage rates rose for some loans and declined for others. They are still very competitive across the board and remain near record lows, despite some ups and downs this month. Here's what average rates look like today.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.819%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.654%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.272%
5/1 ARM 3.159%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.819%, down 0.005% from yesterday's average of 2.824%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $412 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $48,286 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.654%, up 0.027% from yesterday's average of 2.627%. At today's average rate, you'd pay $537 per month in principal and interest per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $28,985 per $100,000 borrowed.

When you reduce the time it takes to pay your loan by 10 years, you significantly cut interest costs. That's why total interest over the life of this loan is much lower than for the 30-year alternative. But of course, you are making fewer monthly payments, so each one must be for a larger amount.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.272%, down 0.007% from yesterday's average of 2.279%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $656. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $18,100 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year mortgage shortens the repayment timeline even more than a 20-year loan does. This translates to much higher monthly payments than on a 30-year loan, but much lower total interest costs over time.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.159%, up 0.041% from yesterday's average of 3.118%. ARMs have a higher starting rate than their fixed-rate counterparts and rates will almost assuredly rise over time due to the fact they're near record lows right now. That means this type of loan makes little sense now for home buyers.

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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