Today's Mortgage Rates -- March 1, 2021: Rates Continue to Climb

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on March 1, 2021

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Hollow model home on top of stacks of cash with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Take a look at how mortgage rates are trending on the first day of March.

On the first day of March, mortgage rates are up slightly for all loans. If you're considering buying a new home and need a mortgage to pay for it, here's what you need to know about average mortgage rates on March 1, 2021.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.128%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.817%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.451%
5/1 ARM 3.353%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.128%, up 0.038% from Friday's average of 3.090%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $429 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Total interest costs would add up to $54,274 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.817%, up 0.025% from Friday's average of 2.792%. Borrowing at today's average rate would leave you with a monthly principal and interest payment of $545 per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $30,916 per $100,000 borrowed.

Loans with shorter repayment timelines have higher monthly payments but lower total interest costs. You can see that when comparing the 20-year loan versus the 30-year loan. Although interest rates are similar, the 20-year option provides significant savings in total interest paid over time, but each monthly payment is higher.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.451%, up 0.026% from Friday's average of 2.425%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $664 per $100,000 borrowed. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $19,607 per $100,000 borrowed.

With its shortened payoff timeline, the 15-year loan has higher monthly payments than either the 30-year or 20-year loan despite having a much lower interest rate. Total interest savings is substantial over time though.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.353%, up 0.092% from Friday's average of 3.261%. Rates on an adjustable-rate mortgage will begin adjusting once the initial fixed-rate period ends. It can be worth taking the risk of them adjusting upward if you can qualify for a loan at a much lower starting interest rate than for a fixed-rate alternative. That's not currently the case, however.

Since rates are so low right now and will most likely adjust upward down the road and since you can't save by opting to start with a 5/1 ARM over a 30-year fixed-rate loan, this isn't a good option today.

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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Mortgage rates are on the rise — and fast. But they’re still relatively low by historical standards. So, if you want to take advantage of rates before they climb too high, you’ll want to find a lender who can help you secure the best rate possible.

That is where Better Mortgage comes in.

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