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Today's Mortgage Rates -- December 3, 2021: Rates Up for Fixed-Rate Loans

The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool
 2021-12-03

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On Dec. 3, 2021, average mortgage rates are up for fixed-rate loans but down for the 5/1 ARM. Check out today's average rates to get an idea of how much different types of home loans might cost you if you qualify for the average rate offered to home buyers.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.311%
20-year fixed mortgage 3.072%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.541%
5/1 ARM 3.134%

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

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.311%, up 0.006% from yesterday's average of 3.305%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $439 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $57,882 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 3.072%, up 0.024% from yesterday's average of 3.048%. For each $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would add up to $558. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $33,970 per $100,000 borrowed.

This rate is lower than the rate on the 30-year loan, and the total interest costs are much lower over time. That's because of the lower interest charges and the fact you won't pay interest for as long of a time. However, you do need to commit to higher monthly payments with this loan option because you aren't making as many of them.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.541%, up 0.005% from yesterday's average of 2.536%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $669 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. For each $100,000 you borrow at today's average rate, total interest costs would add up to $20,370.

With so few monthly payments, each one must be considerably higher compared with the other two loan types. This could be a deterrent to choosing the 15-year loan. However, with the low rate and short time you pay interest, the 15-year mortgage is an incredibly affordable option over the life of the loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.134%, down 0.029% from yesterday's average of 3.163%. This rate has an important difference from the others mentioned, as those are fixed-rate loans and this is adjustable. The initial starting rate is only guaranteed for five years and rates can change after that. There's a risk of rates rising at that point, so you may want to consider this downside before choosing an ARM.

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!).

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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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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