Today's Mortgage Rates -- March 19, 2021: Rates Are Up Again

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Check out today's mortgage rates. Are you ready to apply for a home loan?

Today's mortgage rates are higher than yesterday's. Here's what they look like:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.272%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.018%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.525%
5/1 ARM 3.013%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.272%, up 0.024% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $436.63 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 3.018%, up 0.037% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $555.80 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $119.17 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $23,797.84 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 2.525%, up 0.017% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $667.73 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $231.10 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $36,998.16 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.013%, up 0.010% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you only lock in the same interest rate for five years. Once that period is up, your rate can rise or fall with market conditions. There's risk involved when you get an adjustable-rate mortgage -- that your rate will rise over time, making your monthly payments more expensive. Since the 5/1 ARM rate today is a bit lower than what you'll pay for a 30-year fixed loan, it could make sense, especially if you're buying a starter home and may move before your first five years are up. But if you're buying a forever home, make sure you understand the dangers of getting an ARM.

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 pretty 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 still fairly competitive despite a recent climb, 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

Today's mortgage rates may seem expensive compared to where they sat a month ago, but remember, on a historical basis, they're still fairly low. And you're even more likely to score a competitive interest rate on your mortgage if you have a great credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio.

If you're ready to get a home loan, seek out offers from different mortgage lenders so you can assess your options. Each lender sets its own interest rates and closing costs, so comparing your choices will help you come away with the best deal.

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