Today's Mortgage Rates -- October 8, 2020: Rates Are Low and Aren't Budging

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Mortgage rates remain extremely competitive. Should you lock one in right now?

Mortgage rates remain quite competitive, with both the 30- and 20-year loan coming in at well below 3% and the 15-year loan well under 2.5%. Here's what today's rates look like:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.902%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.747%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.375%
5/1 ARM 3.191%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.902%, down 0.001 from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $416.44 for every $100,000 you borrow. That doesn't include additional expenses like property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.

Check out The Ascent's mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you'd save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.747%, up 0.012% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $542.07 for every $100,000 you borrow. Though your monthly payment will go up by $125.63 with a 20-year, $100,000 loan versus a 30-year loan in the same amount, you'll save $19,824.08 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 2.375%, down 0.013% from yesterday. At today's rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $660.97 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $244.53 higher per $100,000 in mortgage principal. Your interest savings, however, will total $30,946.74 over the life of your repayment period per $100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.191%, down 0.295% from yesterday. Though this represents a pretty big drop for the 5/1 ARM, right now, a 30-year fixed loan makes more sense. The reason? You can snag a much lower interest rate on it. An ARM could be a smart choice if it offers a discounted rate initially, but since you take on the risk of your rate adjusting upward over time with an ARM, it doesn't pay to get one if you can't snag a lower rate for at least the first five years of your loan.

Should I lock 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 in case 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 extremely 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 mortgage if rates fall prior to your closing, and while today's rates are still quite appealing, 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 get a mortgage based on today's rates, call around to different lenders to see what offers you're eligible for. Each lender sets its own criteria with regard to factors like credit score and debt-to-income ratio, so the more offers you get, the easier it'll be to compare your choices and make the right decision. Remember, too, that closing costs can differ from one lender to the next, so look at those numbers in addition to the rates you're being quoted.

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