Today's Mortgage Rates -- May 4, 2021: Rates Are Lower

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This is what mortgage rates look like today. Are you ready to apply for a home loan?


Today's mortgage rates have dropped from yesterday. Here's what they look like on May 4, 2021:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.156%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.959%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.397%
5/1 ARM 2.772%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.156%, unchanged from yesterday. At today's rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $430.00 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 2.959%, down 0.030% from yesterday. At today's rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $553.00 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $123.00 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan of the same amount, you'll save $22,153.00 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 2.397%, down 0.008% from yesterday. At today's rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $662.00 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 $35,647.00 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.772%, down 0.10% from yesterday. With a 5/1 ARM, you only lock in the same interest rate for five years. Beyond that point, your rate could climb if that's what market conditions dictate. A 5/1 ARM could be a smart product if you're buying a starter home you only expect to live in for a handful of years. Otherwise, you may want the security that comes with locking in a fixed interest rate for the life of your loan, even if it means paying a bit more interest than what a 5/1 ARM will charge you.

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 pretty 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, and while today's rates are fairly low, we don't know if rates will go up or down over the next few months. As such, it pays to:

  1. LOCK if closing in 7 days
  2. LOCK if closing in 15 days
  3. LOCK if closing in 30 days
  4. FLOAT if closing in 45 days
  5. FLOAT if closing in 60 days

Mortgage rates today are very competitive, and the higher your credit score and lower your debt-to-income ratio, the more likely lenders will be to offer you their best rates. Of course, it's always wise to shop around with different lenders and see what each has to say. You may find that one lender offers a lower interest rate or closing costs than another, so comparing your choices will help you know whether you're choosing the best deal.

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