Current Mortgages -- October 19, 2020: Rates Drop for All Loans

Large, fancy house with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

Image source: Getty Images.

Mortgage rates have repeatedly hit record lows in recent weeks and have been well below historical averages. Today is no exception to this trend as rates dropped again compared with last week. Average mortgage rates for Oct. 19 are incredibly competitive with the 30-year loan averaging well below 3.00% and the 15-year loan averaging well below 2.50%. Here's what you need to know about today's rates.

Mortgage Type

Today's Interest Rate

30-year fixed mortgage


20-year fixed mortgage


15-year fixed mortgage


5/1 ARM


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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.884%, down .003% from last Friday's average rate of 2.887%. At today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment totaling $415 per $100,000 while total interest costs would add up to $49,535 per $100,000 borrowed over the life of the loan.

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 2.729%, down .026% from Friday's average rate of 2.755%. If you secure a 20-year fixed-rate loan at today's average rate, your monthly payment would equal $541 in principal and interest per $100,000 in mortgage debt. Over the 20-year life of the loan, your interest costs would equal $29,871 per $100,000 borrowed.

You'll notice that while your monthly payment costs are much higher than for a 30-year loan, your total interest costs are lower. There's a simple explanation for that -- when you pay off your loan 10 years sooner, you'll have to pay more each month but will save on interest since you pay it for a shorter time.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.382%, down .008% from Friday's average rate of 2.390%. A 15-year loan at today's average rate would come with a monthly payment of $661 per $100,000 of mortgage debt, including both principal and interest. Over the 15-year repayment term, you would pay $19,025 in interest per $100,000 borrowed.

Just as with a 20-year loan, you're paying off your mortgage for a shorter time than if you'd opted for a 30-year fixed rate loan. That means your monthly payment will be higher but total interest costs will be substantially lower over the life of your loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.215%, down .174% from Friday's average rate of 3.398%. Normally, the initial starting interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage is below the rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan. That's why borrowers are willing to take a chance on ARMs even though the initial rate is locked in only for a limited time (in this case, five years).

Since the starting rate on an ARM is above the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, there's no reason for borrowers to choose this loan type and gamble on rates not rising. That's especially true since rates are currently near record lows and are well below historical averages.

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

With rates continuing to hover near record lows, there has never been a better time to secure a mortgage. Just be sure to comparison shop and get rates from at least three of the best mortgage lenders to ensure you're able to qualify for a loan at the most competitive possible rate.


The Ascent team partners with market-leading data provider Optimal Blue to track the seven-day average of daily mortgage rates that actual borrowers are locking in nationwide. Learn more about our mortgage rates tracking methodology.

Could you save $52,354.80 on your mortgage?

There may be no better time than today to cut your mortgage payment with mortgage rates at multi-decade lows. In fact, one of our mortgage experts just refinanced and will save $52,354.80 over the life of his mortgage.

This potential-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity won't last forever. We'll tell you what we're telling our family members and friends: With rates at historic lows, it's a savvy move to take action and at least investigate how much you could save.

Best yet, you can instantly check your mortgage rate with reputable mortgage lenders

Click here to get started by scanning the market for a low rate.

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