What do you mean, my rate’s not locked in?

You just got a call from your loan officer. Your loan is ready for closing. They’ve drawn the docs and prepared the HUD1. You say “and the rate’s 3.25%, right?”

Silence. He says, “Um, no, it’s 3.75%.”

You flip out. “I applied for 3.25%!”

Loan officer: “But you didn’t lock in.”

You do the math. Your payment is now $73 a month higher than it needed to be. How did this happen?

Every day, people apply for a loan after shopping and comparing GFEs, and they think that by applying for a loan, they have locked in the rate.

After all, your loan application has the rate on it; your disclosures have the rate on it. Doesn’t that mean you’re locked in?

In a word, no. Applying for a loan does not also mean you are locking in your rate. Rate locks have rules, and they vary from lender to lender. It’s up to you to find out exactly what they are.

So here are 5 questions you MUST ask your lender so you know EXACTLY what you need to do to lock in your rate:

How do I lock in my rate? Is a phone call sufficient, or do you need something in writing from me?

Do I need to pay any fees before I can lock in?

Do I need to have submitted a loan application in order to lock in?

What is the rate lock window? If rates come out at 10 am, do I have until 5 pm to lock them in? (Make sure to ask about “black out periods” when you can’t lock in.)

What happens if I lock in, then rates go down? Do you offer a “float down” option?

Insider’s Tip: You don’t apply for a rate. You apply for a loan. You lock in the rate. Make sure you know exactly how to lock in with the lender you’ve selected. 

If you want to talk about locking in a rate at Amerifund, call (888) 650-7316 or fill out this form and someone will contact you.