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Current Mortgage Rates — Dec. 14: Rates Down Across the Board

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Mortgage rates are down across the board and are extremely competitive as we move toward the middle of the month. Here are the average mortgage interest rates for Dec 14.

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.785%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.605%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.266%
5/1 ARM 3.407%

DATA SOURCE: THE ASCENT'S NATIONAL MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE TRACKING.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.785%, down 0.012% compared with Friday's average rate of 2.797%. A mortgage loan at today's average interest rate would cost you $410 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $47,635 per $100,000 borrowed.

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 2.605%, down .025% compared with Friday's average rate of 2.630%. If you borrow at today's average rate, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $535 per $100,000 borrowed. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $28,408 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 20-year loan has a monthly payment that is higher than a 30-year loan, but total interest costs are thousands less. Since you pay off your loan a decade sooner, you don't pay nearly as much interest but must pay more per month to repay your loan on schedule.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.266%, down .011% compared with Friday's average rate of 2.277%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $656 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Your total interest costs over the life of the loan would equal $18,049 per $100,000 borrowed.

A 15-year loan has an even shorter repayment period than a 20-year loan, which translates to even lower total interest costs but even higher monthly payments. You'll need to consider the trade-off between becoming debt-free sooner and committing so much of your monthly money toward your mortgage.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 3.407%, down .041% compared with Friday's average rate of 3.448%. Adjustable-rate mortgages guarantee your rate only for the first few years -- in this case, for five years. After that, rates can adjust annually, and will probably go up since they are near record lows right now. You'd be better off locking in an extremely low rate for 30 years by choosing a fixed-rate loan instead.

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, though 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

Before locking in, you should get rate quotes from at least three of the best mortgage lenders to ensure you're getting a loan at the most competitive possible rate.

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