Mortgage Rate Locks
What is a mortgage rate lock?
A mortgage rate lock in an agreement between you and the lender that the interest rate on your mortgage will remain the same for a specified period. This provides you with some certainty and peace of mind, knowing that your monthly mortgage payments will not change during the lock period. A standard rate lock is typically 30 to 60 days, sometimes more.
You may choose to extend your rate lock if you need additional time to close. For example, with our Extended Rate Lock Program, eligible home buyers can lock in their interest rate up to 255 days in select states*.
When to lock in your rate:
When deciding whether to lock in a rate, it’s important to consider your own financial situation and the current market conditions.
- If interest rates are trending upwards, it may be a good idea to lock in a rate to avoid higher payments in the future. On the other hand, if rates are going down, you may want to wait before locking in a rate to take advantage of potential savings.
- If you’re building a new home and are unsure about the future of the market, or your closing is delayed, you could benefit from a rate lock.
- Or if a rate increase could negatively impact the loan amount you qualify for.
Are there any fees associated?
Most lenders will charge a fee for locking in a rate, which can be a percentage of the loan amount or a flat fee. Speak with your lender directly about any fees that might be associated with locking your rate.
Benefits of locking your rate:
- Know you’re protected from rising rates in an unpredictable market for a specified period of time.
- Plan and budget more accurately knowing your monthly mortgage payments.
- Additional fees associated with locking your rate, or extending your lock. To help combat this, portions of our upfront fee are refundable at closing for our 105 and 165 day rate locks.
- The market could improve. If rates decrease during your lock, you could be stuck at the higher rate. Some lenders may offer a float-down option that allows you to take advantage of lower interest rates if they become available during the lock period. For example, our borrowers may have the opportunity to lower their rate within 30 days of closing if a rate decrease occurs during their lock period.
In conclusion, a mortgage rate lock can provide peace of mind and protection against rising interest rates, but it comes with a cost. Consider your financial situation and market conditions before deciding whether to lock in a rate, and be aware of any restrictions or limitations that may apply. Speak with your lender directly if you are interested in learning more about mortgage rate locks, or extending your rate lock.
*Available on fixed-rate Conventional Conforming loans only. Extended rate lock available for ratified contracts only. Extended rate lock fees apply. Portions of upfront fee refundable at closing for 105 and 165 day rate locks. Not to be used for To Be Determined Homes. Extended rate locks available in the following states: DE (no investment properties), FL, GA, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, DC and WV. Additional guidelines apply.