Current Mortgage Rates -- Feb. 15, 2021: Interest Rates on Fixed-Rate Loans Tick Up

House key sticking out of a lock with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images

As we move into mid-February, mortgage rates went up slightly today for fixed-rate loan options. If you are shopping for a home loan, here's what you need to know about average mortgage rates on Feb. 15, 2021.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.835%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.593%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.235%
5/1 ARM 3.210%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.835%, up 0.008% from Friday's average of 2.827%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $413 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $48,593 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.593%, up 0.033% from Friday's average of 2.560%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your total monthly principal and interest payment would be $534. The total costs of interest would add up to $28,267 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate.

As you can see, you pay more per month for the 20-year fixed-rate loan than the 30-year fixed-rate loan. The shortened repayment timeline explains the higher monthly payment. It also is the reason why total interest is so much lower, since you're paying interest for far less time.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.235%, up 0.006% from Friday's average of 2.229%. At today's average rate, you'd pay $654 per month in principal and interest per $100,000 borrowed. For each $100,000 you borrow at today's average rate, total interest costs would add up to $17,790.

A 15-year mortgage loan means paying interest for even less time than the 20-year or 30-year loan options. Of course, since you cut your repayment time considerably, your monthly mortgage payments are higher even as total costs over time are lower.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.210%, down 0.054% from Friday's average of 3.264%. This is above the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Since rates are starting higher and will almost inevitably increase when they begin adjusting, it's not a good idea to take out this type of loan right now.

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.

A historic opportunity to potentially save thousands on your mortgage

Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.

Our expert recommends this company to find a low rate - and in fact he used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See our full advertiser disclosure here.

The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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