Aside from taking out an Adjustable Rate Mortgage that comes with an introductory teaser rate, very few lenders guarantee anything with their interest rate quotes. Instead, your interest rate is set by the lender at the time you close, unless you lock the rate before that day. If you decide to lock in your interest rate it helps to know when, how, and if you should lock, along with whether or not you should pay to lock in your interest rate.
When Can You Lock Your Mortgage Rate?
Typically you can lock in your interest rate on the date of your loan approval, possibly even as early as your application date. You have the option of waiting a day or two before your closing date.
How Long Should You Lock?
Mortgage rate lock periods last from 10 to 90 days; it is possible to secure a longer lock if you are building your home.
How Much Will You Pay For the Rate Lock?
The longer you choose to lock in your mortgage rate, the more it will cost you. Some lenders try and charge this fee up front; however, you should never pay it up front.
Should You Lock in Your Mortgage Rate?
The decision to lock in your mortgage rate depends if your lender will still qualify you for the amount you’re borrowing if mortgage interest rates go up. If the answer is no, you should probably lock as soon as possible. If you don’t lock you could find yourself running around at the last minute trying to get qualified for the amount you need. On the other hand, if you have plenty of cash on hand you could take the risk and save yourself some money at closing.
Most people who dislike financial risk prefer to lock in their mortgage rates even if they have nothing to lose in the short-term before closing. If this describes you, lock in your mortgage interest rate at the first opportunity and you’ll sleep better at night. The downside of locking in your mortgage rate is that if rates go down before closing, you will have missed out on the opportunity for a lower mortgage interest rate.
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Mortgage Rate Lock