Today's Mortgage Rates -- March 15, 2021: Rates Mixed

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on March 15, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
House keys hanging from a key hook with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images

Mortgage rates are mixed on Monday. Here's what you should know if you're buying a home.

As we move into the middle of March, mortgage rates are mixed on Monday, with some up and others down. Although they have generally been trending upward, they still remain low by historical standards, even as average mortgage rates for March 15, 2021 remain higher than recent record lows.

Here's what you should know about average rates today:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.202%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.880%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.484%
5/1 ARM 2.981%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.202%, up 0.007% from Friday's average of 3.195%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your total monthly principal and interest payment would be $433. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $55,727 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.880%, up 0.023% from Friday's average of 2.857%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $549 per $100,000 borrowed. You'd be looking at total interest costs of $31,666 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

Interest costs will be lower over time with this loan than with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage because you are paying interest for less time. However, your monthly payments are higher since you are making so many fewer payments.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.484%, down 0.005% from Friday's average of 2.489%. A loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly principal and interest payment of $666 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $19,887 per $100,000 borrowed.

The 15-year loan is repaid in half the time as the 30-year loan, therefore monthly payments must be much higher to be able to pay off your loan so quickly. However, your total interest savings is considerable so you may decide these higher monthly payments are worth it.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.981%, down 0.129% from Friday's average of 3.110%. An ARM is a riskier type of loan because this interest rate is only fixed for the first five years. After that, rates begin adjusting along with a financial index. Rates could go up, sending your payment higher. Since the starting interest rate isn't much lower than on the 30-year fixed-rate loan, most borrowers are better off with the certainty that the fixed-rate option provides.

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.

The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022

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.

You can get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes, with no hard credit check, and lock your rate at any time. Another plus? They don’t charge origination or lender fees (which can be as high as 2% of the loan amount for some lenders).

Read our free review

About the Author