Today's Mortgage Rates -- January 8, 2020: Rates Mixed but Mostly Steady

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Mortgage rates are mixed today, but still competitive overall. Is now the right time for you to get a home loan?

Mortgage rates rose for all but the 20-year loan. This is what they look like today:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.774%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.548%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.216%
5/1 ARM 3.484%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.774%, up 0.013% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $409.41 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 2.548%, down 0.028% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $532.05 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $122.64 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $19,964.25 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 2.216%, up 0.024% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $653.69 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $244.28 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $29,772.03 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.484%, up 0.033% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you lock in your initial interest rate for five years, but after that point, it can rise or fall with market conditions. What this means is you're taking the risk that your monthly payments will cost more over time -- and there's no reason to take that risk if you can't snag a discounted rate up front, which is the case today.

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 really 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, reach out to a number of different lenders to see what rates you're eligible for and what closing costs you'll pay to finalize your loan. But aim to do your rate shopping within a short period of time -- ideally, 14 days or less. Each time a lender pulls your credit, it counts as a hard inquiry, too many of which can drop your credit score. However, multiple hard inquiries for the same purpose -- like a mortgage application -- will count as a single inquiry, which may cause your credit score to drop only a few points. Also, gathering offers quickly will help you capitalize on the great rates available now, whereas if you wait too long, those rates may start to creep upward.

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