Today's Mortgage Refinance Rates -- May 14, 2021: Mortgage Rates Tick Up

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 14, 2021

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Large, modern-style home with Today's Mortgage Refinance Rates graphic.

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Check out how today's average mortgage refinance rates changed from yesterday.

On May 14, 2021, mortgage refinance rates rose slightly. The decision about whether to refinance should be made based on the rate you can qualify for as well as whether you'll save enough to cover closing costs associated with refinancing. The more you can drop your rate, the more likely it is that refinancing makes sense for you.

Check out today's average mortgage refinance rates to see how they compare to your current home loan:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed refinance loan 3.239%
20-year fixed refinance loan 3.066%
15-year fixed refinance loan 2.548%

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

30-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 30-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 3.239%, up 0.009% from yesterday's average of 3.230%. At today's average rate, you'd pay $435 per month in principal and interest per $100,000 refinanced. Total interest costs would add up to $56,457 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the refinance loan.

20-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 20-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 3.066%, up 0.011% from yesterday's average of 3.055%. If you refinance at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $558 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the refinance loan, your total interest costs would add up to $33,898 per $100,000 borrowed.

A shorter payoff time results in more money saved over time but higher monthly payments. That's why the 20-year loan costs more to pay each month than the 30-year but the interest costs over time are lower. You won't pay interest for as long, but each payment must be higher since you're making fewer of them.

15-year mortgage refinance rates

The average 15-year mortgage refinance loan rate today is 2.548%, up 0.003% from yesterday's average of 2.545%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $669 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you refinance. Your total interest costs over the life of the refinance loan would equal $20,429 per $100,000 borrowed.

Since you're reducing your payoff time considerably with a 15-year loan compared with the other loan options, you'll see even more interest savings but even higher payments each month. Consider both the opportunity cost of such high payments as well as whether it's possible to work them into your budget.

Should you refinance your mortgage right now?

Refinancing your mortgage can be a smart financial decision if you're able to reduce your interest rate and lower your monthly payments by securing a new home loan. However, there are a few key things to think about before you refinance.

First, if you extend your loan repayment term, you could end up paying higher total interest costs over time than with your existing mortgage. This can occur even if you qualify for a lower interest rate since you'd be paying interest over a longer time. You can avoid this issue by choosing a refinance loan with a shorter repayment term. Or you may decide you're willing to pay more interest over the life of your loan in exchange for a reduced monthly payment.

Second, you will have to consider closing costs, which are the upfront fees you'll be required to pay when you refinance your mortgage. The Ascent's research revealed that closing costs on a refinance loan for a median value home total anywhere from $5,000 to $12,500. However, your closing fees will depend on the amount of your home loan, your location, and your lender.

You should eventually make up for these closing costs due to your lower monthly payments -- but that can take time. If you save $200 per month by refinancing and pay $6,000 in closing costs, you would take 2.5 years to break even. It's important to do the math and consider whether you'll stay in your home long enough for refinancing to pay off.

In general, it is a good idea to refinance if you don't plan to move in the next few years and you can reduce your mortgage interest rate by 1% or more. With mortgage refinance rates near record lows, many borrowers will find it's a good time to refinance. Compare rates from the best mortgage refinance lenders to get some personalized offers and decide whether securing a new home loan now is right for you.

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