Locking in a mortgage interest rate
Mortgage interest rates are always changing. So if you like a rate from a lender, you can ask them to lock it in. This means you’re guaranteed to get that rate, regardless of whether market mortgage rates go higher or lower, for a specific period of time.
Lock in a rate
Locking your mortgage rate gives you as buyers a window of time where the rate is guaranteed to remain stable.
How much home can you afford?
Take the first step and get prequalified.
The importance of a locked rate
No one can predict what will happen with interest rates. If you think rates will go up, or if you don’t want to have to worry about changing rates, it makes sense for you to lock in a rate.
Here’s why it’s beneficial:
- You could lock in a 5% rate for a 30-year term on a $200,000 loan. Your monthly principal and interest (P&I) payment would be $1,073.51.
- Rates jump to 5.5% while your application is being processed. Your P&I payment would increase more than $60 per month.
- You’d end up paying $22,000 more in interest over the life of the 30-year term.
You can decide to lock in anytime—from the day you choose your mortgage, up to five days before closing. Although if you wait, you run the risk that rates could go up.
What will it cost?
Rate locks can carry a fee, which varies from lender to lender and depends on how long you want to lock the rate. Rate locks usually range from 30 to 90 days. You may also pay a fee if you extend your rate lock past the initial period (such as your closing date is delayed).