Several closely watched mortgage rates climbed higher today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both trended upward. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, also rose.
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 go ahead and lock if you see a rate you like. Just don’t do so without shopping around first.
Compare mortgage interest rates from lenders across the nation.
30-year fixed mortgages
The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.08 percent, up 7 basis points over the last week. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 3.06 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $425.93 for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s an extra $3.79 compared with last week.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage rate calculator to get a handle on what your monthly payments would be and see what the effects of making extra payments would be. 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 2.59 percent, up 11 basis points from a week ago.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $671 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little more difficult to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more quickly.
The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgageis 3.11 percent, up 22 basis points over the last 7 days.
These loan types are best for those who expect to sell or refinance 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 Mortgage rate predictions for this week.
Want to see where rates are right now? Lenders across the nation respond to Bankrate’s 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 3.08% 3.01% +0.07
15-year mortgage rate 2.59% 2.48% -0.11
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.11% 3.03% +0.08
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.08% 2.97% +0.11
Rates accurate as of October 1, 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 because they don’t want to take on 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, and expect refinancing to take at least a month..
Factors that influence mortgage rates
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.
Mortgage rate snapshot
Mortgage rates have been volatile because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, though, rates have been low. Mortgage rates are rising and falling from week to week, as lenders are inundated with forbearance and refinance requests. 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 “Bankrate’s Rate Averages Methodology.”
Read about other loan terms:
Current mortgage refinance rates
30 year mortgage rates today
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Learn more about specific loan type rates
PRODUCT PURCHASE RATES REFINANCE RATES
The chart above links out to loan-specific content to help our readers learn more about rates by mortgage type.
30-Year Loan 30-Year Interest Rates 30-Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Loan Current 20 Year Mortgage Rates 20-Year Refinance Interest Rates
15-Year Loan Current 15 Year Mortgage Rates 15-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
10-Year Loan 10-Year Mortgage Rates Current 10-Year Refinance Rates
FHA Loan FHA Mortgage Interest Rates Current FHA Loan Refinance Rates
VA Loan VA Loan Rates VA Refinance Loan Rates
ARM Loan ARM Interest Rates ARM Refinance Rates
Jumbo Loan Jumbo Loan Interest Rates Jumbo Loan Refinance Rates