Mortgage Rate Articles

When to Lock in a Mortgage Rate

A mortgage rate lock is an agreement between a borrower and a lender that allows the borrower to lock in the interest rate on a mortgage for a specified time .

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In this article: One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of getting a mortgage is locking in your interest rate. What if rates fall after you lock?

Steps to Locking-In a Mortgage Interest Rate. A mortgage interest rate lock-in can prove to be very beneficial in case the interest rates increase while your loan is being processed, but it can also be a disadvantage to you if the rates decrease. No matter when you decide to lock-in the interest rate, you should always know how this is done.

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And, a rate lock may lock you out of a lower interest rate if rates fall after you get your loan offer. Some lenders may lock your rate as part of issuing a Loan Estimate, but some may not. Check at the top of page 1 of your Loan Estimate to see if your rate is locked, and for how long.

Get your mortgage rate lock in writing. Don’t settle for verbal assurances from your lender, and make certain you get details on what will happen should the rate lock expire. If you do this when you apply, you should see the terms of the rate lock noted on page 1 of your Loan Estimate disclosure form in the upper right-hand corner.

Locking a mortgage rate means the applicant is guaranteed the interest rate at the time of the lock, which works well if the lock occurs when interest rates are low. The length of a mortgage rate lock varies from lender to lender, with some allowing extended locks for an additional fee.

Here are the 5 golden rules of your interest rate lock: Never lock in a rate before the contract is signed. Know what your "on or about" closing day is. Most mortgage lenders offer 15, 30, 45 and 60-day rate locks. Choose a lock period that gives you the comfort of knowing you have enough time to get through closing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a meager1.5% increase. Days ago she had a change of heart and decided to lock her rate in to avoid the risk of a lower appraisal and less accessible equity.

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