Your mortgage interest rate plays an important role in the cost of your home loan and helps determine your monthly mortgage payment. In a housing market with fluctuating rates, it may make sense to lock your loan rate.
A mortgage rate lock means your home loan has a set interest rate that won’t fluctuate within a set period of time. The rate lock is generally valid if you close within the rate lock period and your financial circumstances don’t change.
Rate locks usually last for 30 to 60 days and might be extended if your loan takes longer than expected to close. There may be an extension fee involved, however, which would be added to your total closing fees and could cost as much as 1% of your loan amount.
What happens if you don’t lock your rate?
The mortgage rate you’re quoted when you first apply for your loan likely won’t be the same rate you see on your closing documents—unless you opt into a rate lock.
Locking your mortgage rate shields you from your rate changing before closing. A lower rate means you can save money on your monthly payment and the total interest amount you’ll pay over your loan term.
What if rates go down and I’ve locked in a rate?
Some rate locks include something called a “float down” option. This option is usually more expensive because it allows you to re-lock your rate at a lower percentage if rates fall before your mortgage closing.
Loan rates can feel complicated, but they don’t have to. Our team is here to answer your homebuying questions. Reach out to a loan officer today!