Today's Mortgage Rates -- May 31, 2021: Most Rates Are Down

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 31, 2021

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Thinking of buying a home? Here are today's average mortgage rates.

On the last day of May, mortgage rates are mostly down, with just one loan type trending up slightly. Would-be home buyers can check out average mortgage rates for Monday, May 31, to find out more about what it might cost to borrow to buy a home:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.130%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.899%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.382%
5/1 ARM 2.859%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.130%, down 0.003% from Friday's average of 3.133%. If you borrow at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $429 per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs would add up to $54,313 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.899%, up 0.005% from Friday's average of 2.894%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $550 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $31,893 per $100,000 borrowed.

Interest costs over time are much lower with the 20-year loan than the 30-year loan since you cut off a decade of the time you'd have to pay interest. But because you also make 120 fewer payments, each monthly payment must be much higher.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.382%, down 0.014% from Friday's average of 2.396%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $661. The total costs of interest would add up to $19,025 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

By cutting your repayment time in half compared with the 30-year loan option, the 15-year saves you a lot of money over time but ends up costing you much more each month.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.859%, down 0.073% from Friday's average of 2.932% The ARM has a lower starting rate than the 30-year fixed-rate loan, but it's a riskier loan because that rate is guaranteed only for the first five years. It could go up after that, making monthly payments more expensive.

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.

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