Compare today’s mortgage and refinance rates, December 20th, 2021

Mortgage rates were mostly down compared to a week ago, according to data compiled by Bankrate. Rates for 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed and jumbo loans declined, while rates for adjustable rate mortgages rose.

Rates accurate as of December 20, 2021.

The rates listed here are marketplace averages based on the assumptions indicated here. Actual rates listed across the site may vary. This story has been reviewed by in-house editor Bill McGuire. All rate data accurate as of Monday, December 20th, 2021 at 7:30am.

>>View historical mortgage interest rate movements

You can save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage by getting multiple offers. “It is so important to shop around,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Not everyone offers the same price, and some lenders may have motivation to be very competitive on price.”

Mortgage rates

30-year mortgage moves down, -0.01%

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.24 percent, a decrease of 1 basis point over the last week. Last month on the 20th, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 3.20 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $434.66 for every $100k you borrow.

The 30-year mortgage is the most popular option for homeowners, and this type of loan has a number of advantages, including:

  • Lower monthly payment. The 30-year mortgage offers lower, more affordable payments spread over time compared with shorter-term mortgages.
  • Stability. With the 30-year, you lock in a consistent principal and interest payment. That predictability lets you plan your housing expenses for the long term. Keep in mind: Your monthly housing payment can change if your homeowners insurance and property taxes go up or, less likely, down.
  • Buying power. With lower payments, you can qualify for a larger loan amount and a more expensive home.
  • Flexibility. Lower monthly payments can free up some of your monthly budget for other goals, like building an emergency fund, contributing to retirement or college tuition, or saving for home repairs and maintenance.
  • Strategic use of debt. Some argue that Americans focus too much on paying down their mortgages rather than adding to their retirement accounts. A 30-year mortgage with a lower monthly payment can allow you to save more for retirement.

15-year fixed mortgage rate dips,-0.01%

The average rate for the benchmark 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.52 percent, down 1 basis point since the same time last week.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $390 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little tougher 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 rapidly.

5/1 adjustable rate mortgage trends upward, +0.01%

The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgageis 2.75 percent, rising 1 basis point over the last week.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, are home loans that come with a floating interest rate. To put it another way, the interest rate can change periodically throughout the life of the loan, unlike fixed-rate loans. These types of loans are best for those who expect to refinance or sell before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be considerably higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 2.75 percent would cost about $402 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could ratchet higher by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

Jumbo mortgage falls, -0.01%

The average jumbo mortgage rate is 3.24 percent, down 1 basis point from a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a jumbo mortgage was lower, at 3.20 percent.

At today’s average jumbo rate, you’ll pay a combined $434.66 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow.

Rate review: How mortgage rates have shifted over the past week

  • 30-year fixed mortgage rate: 3.24%, down from 3.25% last week, -0.01
  • 15-year fixed mortgage rate: 2.52%, down from 2.53% last week, -0.01
  • 5/1 ARM mortgage rate: 2.75%, up from 2.74% last week, +0.01
  • Jumbo mortgage rate: 3.24%, down from 3.25% last week, -0.01

Interested in refinancing? See rates for home refinance

30-year fixed-rate refinance moves lower, –0.03%

The average 30-year fixed-refinance rate is 3.21 percent, down 3 basis points from a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed refinance was lower, at 3.17 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay $428.10 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow.

What are current mortgage rates?

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 below 3%. 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.

Learn more:

Today’s featured lenders, December 20, 2021

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