Current Mortgage Rates, October 21, 2020 | Rates move higher

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Multiple key mortgage rates climbed today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both cruised higher. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, dropped.

Rates for mortgages are constantly changing, 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 be sure to shop around.

See mortgage rates for a variety of rate terms.

30-year fixed mortgages

The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.04 percent, up 1 basis point over the last seven days. Last month on the 21st, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 3.00 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay $423.76 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s an increase of $0.54 over what you would have paid last week.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage loan calculator to figure out your monthly payments and find out how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you computehow 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, up 3 basis points over the last seven days.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $670 per $100,000 borrowed. That may squeeze your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage would, 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 quickly.

5/1 ARMs

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.06 percent, falling 4 basis points since the same time last week.

These loan types are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be much higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.06 percent would cost about $425 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase by hundreds of dollars 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 Trend Index.

Want to see where rates are currently? Lenders nationwide 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:

Average mortgage interest rates
Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed 3.04% 3.03% +0.01
15-year fixed 2.57% 2.54% -0.03
30-year fixed jumbo 3.13% 3.07% +0.06
30-year fixed refinance 3.20% 3.13% +0.07

Rates as of October 21, 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. You may be able to find a lender that offers a floating rate lock. A floating rate lock lets you get a lower rate if interest rates decline before closing your loan. It could be worth the cost in a declining rate environment. 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, and expect refinancing to take 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.

Generally speaking, when the economy is strong, more people buy homes. That drives demand for mortgages. Increased demand for mortgages can cause rates to increase. The opposite is also true; less demand can lead to lower rates.

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 on-site rate averages.”

Read about other loan terms:
Mortgage refinance rates today
Today’s 30-year mortgage rates
Shopping for a mortgage lender?
Costco Mortgage Review
Ally Home Mortgage Review
CityWorth Mortgage Review
CFBank Mortgage Review
Compare mortgage rates for various loan types
PRODUCT PURCHASE RATES REFINANCE RATES
The chart above links out to loan-specific pages to help you learn more about rates by product type.
30-Year Loan 30-Year Mortgage Rates 30-Year Refinance Interest Rates
20-Year Loan 20-Year Mortgage Interest Rates Current 20-Year Refinance Rates
15-Year Loan Current 15 Year Mortgage Rates 15-Year Refi Interest Rates
10-Year Loan Current 10 Year Mortgage Rates 10-Year Refi Interest Rates
FHA Loan FHA Loan Interest Rates FHA Refinance Rates
VA Loan VA Mortgage Interest Rates VA Refinance Loan Rates
ARM Loan ARM Mortgage Rates ARM Refi Mortage Rates
Jumbo Loan Current Jumbo Mortgage Rates Jumbo Loan Refinance Rates

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