Today's Mortgage Rates -- May 26, 2021: Rates Are Mixed

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 26, 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 key inside a lock with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images

What happened to average mortgage rates on May 26, 2021? Home buyers need to know.

As we move towards the end of May, average mortgage rates are mixed. Some rates are down and others up. Here's what average mortgage rates look like on Wednesday, May 26, so you can have an idea of how much borrowing to buy a home could cost you:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.155%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.915%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.421%
5/1 ARM 2.942%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.155%, down 0.011% from yesterday's average of 3.166%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $430 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $54,803 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.915%, up 0.005% from yesterday's average of 2.910%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $550 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, you'd pay total interest costs of $32,085 per $100,000 borrowed.

Because you pay interest for 10 fewer years, your total costs are much lower over time with this loan than with the 30-year loan. But, your monthly payments are higher because you make payments for a decade less time.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.421%, up 0.008% from yesterday's average of 2.413%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $663 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $19,354 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year loan has a very short payoff time, which means interest saved over time is substantial. Of course, you have to make a very high monthly payment to account for such fewer payments. This could put pressure on your budget and cause you to be unable to accomplish other financial goals, so be sure it's the right move for you.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.942%, up 0.119% from yesterday's average of 2.823%.This initial interest rate is only guaranteed for five years. After that time, it could change -- and chances are, it may go up since rates are near record lows now. You may not want to take a chance on rates rising and your borrowing costs going up, especially since the 30-year fixed-rate loan isn't much higher and is guaranteed for the life of the loan.

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, historically speaking, 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 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