Today's Mortgage Rates -- May 20, 2021: Rates Are Mixed

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 20, 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

Here's what today's mortgage rates look like. Are you ready to get a home loan?

Today's mortgage rates are mixed compared to yesterday. Here's what they look like on May 20, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.167%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.958%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.419%
5/1 ARM 2.971%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.167%, down 0.003% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $431.00 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 2.958%, down 0.013% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $552.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $121.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $22,531.00 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 2.419%, up 0.008% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $663.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $232.00 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will amount to $35,679.00 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.971%, up 0.060% from yesterday. A 5/1 ARM will let you lock in the same mortgage rate for five years, but from there, that rate has the potential to climb. While you'll score a modest discount on your interest rate by choosing a 5/1 ARM over a 30-year fixed loan right now, you won't get the security of having that rate stay in place for three decades. As such, you may want to consider a 30-year fixed mortgage since today's rate for that product is quite competitive.

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 very attractive, historically speaking. 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. While today's rates are pretty 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

If you're ready to apply for a mortgage, get in touch with different mortgage lenders to see what offers they come back with. Each lender dictates its own rate, and you may find that one has a better deal to share than another. Similarly, be sure to compare closing costs. Minimizing the fees you'll pay to finalize your loan could result in huge savings.

The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022

Mortgage rates are at their highest level in years — and expected to keep rising. It is more important than ever to check your rates with multiple lenders to secure the best rate possible while minimizing fees. Even a small difference in your rate could shave hundreds off your monthly payment.

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