Several key mortgage rates held steady today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages held firm. On the variable-mortgage side, the average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also held firm.
Rates for mortgages are in a constant state of flux, but they continue to represent a bargain compared to rates before the Great Recession. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could make sense to lock if you see a rate you like. Just make sure you shop around first.
Compare mortgage interest rates from lenders nationwide.
30-year fixed mortgages
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.06 percent, unchanged over the last seven days. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 3.04 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $424.85 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage payment calculator to estimate your monthly payments and find out how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year fixed mortgages
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.57 percent, unchanged over the last week.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $670 per $100,000 borrowed. That’s clearly much higher than the monthly payment would be on a 30-year mortgage at that rate, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more rapidly.
The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.11 percent, unchanged from a week ago.
These loan types are best for people who expect to refinance or sell before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be materially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.
Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.11 percent would cost about $428 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could climb hundreds of dollars higher afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.
Where rates are headed
To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our rate trends page.
Want to see where rates are at this moment? Lenders across the nation respond to our weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a wide variety of purchase loans:
Today’s mortgage interest rates
Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 3.06% 3.06% N/C
15-year mortgage rate 2.57% 2.57% N/C
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.11% 3.07% +0.04
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.19% 3.13% +0.06
Rates accurate as of October 13, 2020.
When to lock your mortgage rate
A rate lock guarantees your interest rate for a specified period of time. Lenders often offer 30-day rate locks for a nominal fee or roll the price of the lock into your loan. Some lenders will lock rates for longer periods, sometimes for more than 60 days, but those locks can be costly. In today’s volatile market, some lenders will lock an interest rate for only two weeks to avoid unnecessary risk.
The benefit of a rate lock is that if interest rates rise, you’re locked into the guaranteed rate. Some lenders have a floating-rate lock option, which allows you to get a lower rate if interest rates fall before you close your loan. In a falling rate environment, a float-down lock could be worth the cost. Because mortgage rates are not predictable, there’s no guarantee that rates will stay where they are from week to week or even day to day. So, if you can lock in a low rate, then you should do so rather than gamble on interest rates falling even lower.
Keep in mind that during the pandemic, all aspects of real estate and mortgage closings are taking much longer than usual. Expect the closing on a new mortgage to take at least 60 days, with refinancing taking at least a month.
Why do mortgage rates move up and down?
Mortgage rates are influenced by a range of economic factors, from inflation to unemployment numbers. Typically, higher inflation means higher interest rates and vice versa. As inflation rises, the dollar loses value, which in turn drives off investors for mortgage-backed securities, causing the prices to fall and yields to climb. When yields climb, rates get more expensive for borrowers.
A strong economy usually means more people buying homes, which drives demand for mortgages. This increased demand can push rates higher. The opposite is also true; less demand can trigger a drop in rates.
Current mortgage rate landscape
The current mortgage rate environment has been unstable because of the coronavirus pandemic, but generally rates have been low. For a while, some lenders were increasing rates because they were struggling to deal with the demand. In general, however, rates are consistently below 4 percent and even dipping into the mid to low 3s. This is an especially good time for people with good to excellent credit to lock in a low rate for a purchase loan. However, lenders are also raising credit standards for borrowers and demanding higher down payments as they try to dampen their risks.
Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.
To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s average rates.”
Current mortgage refinance rates
Current 30-year interest rates
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Compare mortgage rates for various loan types
PRODUCT PURCHASE RATES REFINANCE RATES
The table above links out to loan-specific pages to help you learn more about rates by product type.
30-Year Loan Today’s 30-Year Mortgage Rates 30-Year Refinance Interest Rates
20-Year Loan 20-Year Mortgage Rates 20-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
15-Year Loan Current 15 Year Mortgage Rates Current 15-Year Refinance Rates
10-Year Loan 10-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 10-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
FHA Loan Current FHA Mortgage Rates FHA Refinance Interest Rates
VA Loan VA Mortgage Rates VA Refi Interest Rates
ARM Loan Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rates ARM Refinance Interest Rates
Jumbo Loan Jumbo Mortgage Rates Jumbo Refinance Rates