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With a rate lock, you are safeguarded from rates rising. For example, you lock in for 60 days at 3.75 percent. Rates creep up to four percent half way through your lock period. You are still entitled to your original rate.

Once you lock in your rate, your rate cannot change as long as your loan funds before the lock’s expiration date. For example, if you lock in a rate of 3.75% on a 30-year fixed mortgage and rates shoot up to 4.5% over the next week, you can give yourself a pat on the back.

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When you "LOCK" your interest rate with your lender, you and the lender agree this is the guaranteed rate you will receive, and that no matter what the markets do before closing, you will not be charged a higher rate if rates go up, and you will not be able to get a lower rate if rates go down. Your rate lock should be in writing.

A great resource to know about mortgage rates and whether it is a good time to lock or not is a daily rate commentary. If it looks like rates are low enough to meet your payment goals, you should.

When should I lock my mortgage rate? simply put, you should lock your mortgage rate when the market is unsteady or rates are rising. If your lender expects rates to climb before you want to close your home loan, they’ll suggest you lock your rate. As of October 2018, Freddie Mac forecasts that mortgage rates will either hold steady or increase during the last months of this year. So, your lender may recommend that you lock your rate early within homebuying process.

A rate lock is important because mortgage interest rates fluctuate in response to market forces-much like the price of apples or homes-and even small fluctuations can cost you big-time. A mortgage rate lock, as you might guess, locks in an interest rate for your loan for a certain period of time before you close the deal.

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Locking your mortgage rate depends on the specific factors involved in your home purchase process. find out how to determine when you should lock a rate for your mortgage, and what it means to commit to a rate lock.

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