Today's Mortgage Rates -- March 23, 2021: Fixed Loan Rates Come Up

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Check out today's mortgage rates update. Is it the right time for you to apply for a home loan?

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

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.308%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.055%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.557%
5/1 ARM 3.047%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.308%, up 0.015% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $438.00 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 3.055%, up 0.028% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $557.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $119.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $24,126.21 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 2.557%, up 0.019% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $669.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $231.00 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $37,399.24 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.047%, down 0.025% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you're guaranteed the same interest rate for five years. After that, your rate can fluctuate annually. It may go up, or it may go down -- but you clearly run the risk of paying a higher interest rate and increasing your monthly mortgage payment over time. Now you will enjoy lower monthly payments for five years with a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year fixed loan. But be prepared for that to change in time if you sign up for an adjustable-rate mortgage.

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 fairly 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 pretty 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

Though mortgage rates are higher these days than they were at the beginning of the year, they're still, historically speaking, pretty attractive. And if you have a great credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio, you'll be even more likely to snag a low rate on your home loan. If you're ready to buy a home, gather offers from different mortgage lenders so you can assess your options. Each lender sets its own interest rates and closing costs, so it's a good idea to compare your choices and eke out the best deal.

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