Always Lock Your Mortgage Rate

A “mortgage rate lock” is essential to ensure you actually receive the interest rate you are quoted by a bank or mortgage broker. Often times you will you be presented with a mortgage rate quote, but it means very little until it’s actually secured, or “locked,” by a bank or lender.

When you lock in a mortgage rate, you are guaranteed that interest rate, assuming your loan actually qualifies under said lender or bank’s guidelines. By locking a loan, you secure a specific interest rate along with certain terms, including the mortgage index and margin the program is tied to, the prepayment penalty if any, and the initial, periodic, and lifetime caps.

Rate Lock Period

When you lock your loan, you must also choose a rate lock period, which can range from 7 days to 90 days or even longer. The most common lock term is anywhere from 15-45 days, which is the average time it takes for a loan to close.

It’s important to pick the appropriate length of time to ensure you get the loan closed before the lock expires, without subjecting yourself to additional fees.

Either way, you will always have the opportunity to extend your rate lock at a relatively small cost if the process gets delayed, which it often will!

When to Lock Your Mortgage

Some borrowers may choose to lock in a mortgage rate at the initial time of the loan application, before the loan is even submitted to the underwriting department. This is known as a “pre-lock,” and ensures the interest rate is set before the loan is even underwritten.

It can be helpful to pre-lock your mortgage rate if the debt-to-income ratio is close to the maximum, so if there are any interest rate fluctuations, the DTI won’t be exceeded. In may also be a smart move if mortgage rates are rock-bottom and there is little expectation for rates to improve further.

Others may float their mortgage rate and lock their mortgage at the last minute, effectively gambling on the hopes of mortgage rates improving later in the loan process. If you feel mortgage rates have more room to fall, this could be the way to go. But as mentioned, it’s a gamble and there’s no guarantee.

What If My Rate Lock Expires Before Closing?

As mentioned, mortgage locks don’t last forever, they come with a set time period.  Assuming you lock your rate in early on, there’s a chance the rate lock period could be exhausted, at which point the lock could expire.

If the rate expires before loan closing, you’ll need to get it re-locked.  This could entail worst-case pricing (assuming mortgage rates have risen) and a relock fee.  For example, if rates went down, you’d be stuck with your old, higher rate and a relock fee to boot.

Ask for a Rate Lock Extension

But typically the lender will keep an eye on the rate lock period and issue a “rate lock extension” before the lock actually expires.  Doing so will ensure you get to keep the rate you originally signed up for.

However, rate lock extensions don’t come for free either.  If it wasn’t the lender’s fault, the cost of the rate lock extension could run you several hundred dollars or more, depending on the associated loan amount.

It is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount.  So you might be charged .125% for a 7-day lock extension, or .25% for a 15-day extension.  These fees will vary from lender to lender and could be more or less.

The higher your loan amount, the higher the cost.  On a $200,000 loan amount, you’d be looking at a cost of $250 or $500 to extend the lock period, respectively.

While that fee sounds like a raw deal, holding onto a rate that is an .125% or more lower could save you a lot of money over the term of the loan.  In other words, it’s better to get the extension than let the lock expire for fear the rate could rise.

If the delay happens to be the lender’s fault, they will generally offer a free rate lock extension for seven days out of good faith.  This should be enough to get the loan closed without any cost to you.  Even if it is your fault, you might be able to get a few free days to ensure the loan closes before the lock expires.

In any case, you can try to negotiate a lock extension in your favor, and ask them to extend it for free if you feel it was out of your hands.  They may work with you to retain your business and avoid you going elsewhere.

Get the Mortgage Lock in Writing

Either way, it’s important to stay on top of your mortgage rate lock, and to make sure you have the rate and terms in writing. Never just assume a mortgage broker or bank has locked your interest rate.

They may say your rate is this or that, or that it’s locked, but in actuality they may be floating your rate in the hopes of getting a better commission or yield spread premium. Or perhaps you’ve been misquoted, and they’re praying the mortgage rate will come down to what they originally quoted you.

I’ve seen that happen a million times. Brokers will go into panic mode if they failed to lock a rate initially, often after quoting their borrower a guaranteed rate. They’ll call the mortgage lender each day to see how mortgage rates have moved, and nervously push on day after day, waiting for the moment rates fall to the level they were originally quoted.

Sometimes brokers will settle for a lower rate with less commission to them, but often they’ll simply tell the borrower the rate is higher for some reason. And the borrower will just have to accept it because they’ve spent so much time working on the loan that they’ll just want to get it done.

Watch Out for Changes

Some loan officers and brokers may even change the original terms they quoted you to get a lower rate. Such as raising the margin, adding a prepayment penalty, or changing indexes, caps, or even loan programs.

All that said, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to the interest rate and terms associated with your mortgage rate lock. Any mistakes here will lead to higher monthly mortgage payments for years to come, and a major headache if you fail to jump on a good rate early on.

Sure, you can gamble, but if you’re happy with a certain interest rate, might as well not take chances. And again, always get your lock confirmation in writing from the bank or broker before you proceed with the deal! This cannot be stressed enough!


  1. Dyanne July 24, 2012 at 8:31 am -

    We locked at 3% in May (15 year fixed). The loan is dragging on and now rates are are a little lower (2.875%) but the lender wants to charge us to extend the lock! What are my options at this point?

  2. Colin Robertson July 24, 2012 at 9:38 am -

    Unfortunately lenders are super backed up at the moment, so even seemingly long rate locks are expiring.

    Sometimes when rates drop you can extend your lock for free, seeing that you’re taking an above-market rate now.

    If that’s a no-go, and you think you can do better elsewhere, you can submit your loan with another lender and take advantage of today’s lower rates.

    The downside to that is playing the waiting game AGAIN, and possibly paying double fees on certain items, all for a measly eighth of a point.

  3. Brorrower August 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm -

    In an atmosphere of declining rates, I refused to pay the lock fee. This approach was unconventional and surprised the originator. By the time they processed my app, the rate had dropped. Also, you can lock, then if the rates drop, you can play hard ball and threaten to walk if they don’t honor the current rate. It’s inconsiderate and will rankle everybody on the lender side, but you can do it. I guess there is a risk that they could tell you on principle to get lost, and refuse your business.

  4. 1st timer April 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm -

    Hello im a first time home buyer and today the rate that was quoted to me was 3.25% which has been the same since i started and points equal about $1,470 right now. Would it be best to lock or continue to float? HELP HELP HELP!!!!

  5. Colin Robertson April 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm -

    Hey 1st timer,

    It depends on a number of things. Are you happy with the rate? Are you worried it will move higher before closing? Are you closing soon? Generally, most people lock within 15 days or so of their closing date, especially if they are happy with the quoted rate. If you don’t lock, you risk your rate moving higher (or possibly lower). The question is do you want to take the risk?

    Learn more:

  6. Dusty June 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm -

    I am a first time home buyer using a CHFA advantage plan. I was officially under contract last Monday. (16 june) My lender failed to lock me until Yesterday (tuesday 25 of june) my rate is over 1% higher than the rate I was quoted. He said it was company policy to wait to lock until the appraisal is done. I called and checked with his main office and this is not the case. He then said that market volatility is not his fault and he does not have a crystal ball to predict these things. The thing is it took me calling him and emailing him most of the day on Monday, a full week after I was under contract, to get him to lock me in. Now rather than low 4% I am at 5.25%. Do I have any recourse in this matter or am I simply stuck with htis rate?

  7. Colin Robertson June 27, 2013 at 12:05 am -


    Check your disclosures regarding the rate lock…you’ll probably see something saying the rate is subject to change unless locked. If you feel he dropped the ball, you can always shop around and go with a different lender, but you’ll need to start the process all over again. Alternatively, you can argue for a lower rate than what he locked you at, simply by “negotiating,” using his failure to lock before rates rose as your argument.

  8. Dusty June 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm -

    Ok. Thank you. I just feel like I have no leverage to negotiate anything. I realize 5.25 is still a good rate, but last monday, when I feel we should have locked was far better at 4.375.

    Thank you for your time


  9. 1st time home buyer July 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm -

    Hello all,

    I worked out a mortgage rate at 4.65% on July 1st and my broker wrote in an email that he submitted the rate for locking. After not hearing from him for several days I decided to call him and check on the lock. He said that he actually never submitted the lock and now my rate is 5.2ish%. Is there anything I can do since he initially said he submitted the lock request at 4.65%? Please help!


  10. Andrew Martinez July 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm -


    If it helps at all rates got much worse on Friday. However, not sure how you are 1.25% higher if your loan was locked on June 25th.

  11. Colin Robertson July 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm -


    You need to get the lock confirmation in writing. Not just a verbal that he submitted a lock request. If the loan isn’t actually locked, a request doesn’t mean a whole lot.

  12. Colin Robertson July 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm -

    Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario at the moment. This type of thing happens all the time, you just never hear about it because rates are typically a lot less volatile. Generally, borrowers may find that their rate wasn’t locked, and that rates went up a mere eighth or quarter of a point. Now that rates are going berserk, a lot of borrowers are getting a very rude awakening. Now is probably the most important time in recent history to ensure your rate is actually locked, assuming you want it to be locked! For the record, you should have signed a disclosure regarding the interest rate early on in the process. Check your paperwork and plead with the broker to offer you a lower rate if possible.

  13. Al August 7, 2013 at 7:40 am -

    We received a verbal quote on a locked in rate of 4.875% then the mortgage processor emailed and said he had locked the rate in at 3.875% for 20 years. Now he says that was an error in the email and that the rate is 4.875%. Is he legally bound to the 3.875% he quoted in writing?

  14. Colin Robertson August 7, 2013 at 10:16 am -

    It sounds like they just made a typo if you all agreed on the 4.875% rate.

  15. Diane April 18, 2014 at 9:43 am -

    I am getting a mortgage thru a local bank and told my lender to lock my rate…then the seller dragged their feet and I have been told I have to pay to re-lock my rate because it will be past 30 days (even though rates have gone down a little since). I don’t mind paying the higher rate, but paying to re-lock it seems ridiculous. Why would a bank do this–can’t I just go somewhere else? I don’t want to because the service has been great and I appreciate it, but I am already paying a 3k origination fee for them to write the loan and I don’t want to be an idiot.

  16. Colin Robertson April 18, 2014 at 10:03 am -


    I’m assuming they want you to pay for a rate lock extension, which is perfectly normal. And paying for an extension if it wasn’t the lender’s fault is normal too. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate or fight the fee, or ask for an exception, especially with rates lower today than when you locked. You could also ask for a float down to the new lower rate for a cost. A fee might sound bad now, but a lower rate for the life of the loan should save you money long-term. You could also shop around and see what other lenders are offering and tell your lender that Bank XYZ is offering a lower rate, just to make your case a little stronger.

  17. Maureen June 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    We are in the middle of refinancing; I have submitted all necessary paperwork which has been submitted to underwriting. Our mortgage guy advised rates are going down; we are refinancing to get cash out and refinance at or <4% (currently our loan is at 4%, our refi would be to apply for jumbo loan and eliminate PMI). We received a call from the appraiser asking to set up an appointment; but our mortgage guy has not locked in our interest rate yet. Does it matter when we get the home appraisal done? Ideally we would need at least another week before having someone come out as as we are doing remodeling in our backyard.

  18. Colin Robertson June 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm -


    Most loan reps will advise you to get the appraisal sooner rather than later to ensure you get the value you need to actually get the deal done, but obviously not while the house is being remodeled. If you’re concerned about the rate not being locked, you can ask about locking for a longer period of time to cover the time it takes to do the appraisal. Or just listen to your rep and hope rates stay flat or drop.

  19. Maureen June 23, 2014 at 10:34 am -

    Thanks Colin.

  20. LJK August 3, 2014 at 7:02 am -

    Hi Colin,
    My husband and I are building a new home and we locked our rate through Oct 24, 2014 and we will be fine with making that date. On our original application which we agreed upon a 5% 30 yr fixed rate with an opportunity to relock 25 days from closing. The application in the GFE show a 0.5% discount rate equal to $1400.

    Our loan was approved but from this past winter until now, we got married so they asked us to reapply due to the status change. Upon review of the new application, the discount rate is now listed as 1.0% or $2800 and the other fees within the GFE are $917 higher.

    We attached the original app with the 0.5% discount rate and sent an email to the broker and admin staff inquiring about the rate and fees. It is over a weekend and we have not heard back.

    Is it feasible/legal for the terms on a loan to change if we NEVER agreed to any change? What is our recourse? We close in just over a month. Can we change brokers? What would we be liable for besides the application fee?

    We appreciate your feedback.

    L & R

  21. Colin Robertson August 4, 2014 at 9:10 am -


    The loan was approved, but not originally locked correct? Rates change daily so if you wanted that same rate locked, it may cost more on a certain day, as it seemed to in your situation. Ask them why it went from 0.5% to 1% and let me know. And which fees increased.

  22. Mimi September 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm -

    A lender will not allow me to lock in the rate until I have a specific property picked out. Does this make sense? I thought I could lock int he rate for up to 90 days without a known property. Why else would I get pre-approved vs. pre-qualified?

  23. Colin Robertson September 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm -

    Yes that makes sense…lenders don’t want to lock your rate if you don’t even have a purchase contract. There’s a good chance it’ll take a while to find a property in this market. As far as getting pre-approved, it’s a smart thing to do to ensure you can actually get a mortgage. Plenty of people think they’re qualified, only to find out that they’re not. It’s not really about the rate lock at all.

  24. Michelle October 7, 2014 at 11:37 am -

    Hi Colin,

    My husband and I locked in our rate at an appropriate time (after purchase contract and after passing appraisal), but it is now up for expiration. The reason for passing the 30 day date is debatable…the sellers took too long to return some bank documents that needed their signature and also the bank has been slow at processing the paperwork. Regardless, the bank will not admit fault and want to charge us the .25% extension fee for 15 days. However, they can’t even guarantee us that they can close in that 15 days, which would require another .25%.

    My question for you is…we originally locked at a higher than market value rate in order to receive a credit at closing. Rates were at 4.0% at the time of our lock and we took 4.25%. So, if we instead choose to let it expire, what will happen to our closing credit? Will the bank take that away? I am hoping that, for example, if rates are still at 4%, we get the same credit at closing, and if rates are at 4.25% or higher, we would get no credit, etc. Also, if we do let it expire, can we float until closing or do most banks require you to lock again before closing?

    Our loan officer is quite the salesman and he is not giving us a straight answer. We are in purchasing in NY. Thanks for your help.

  25. Colin Robertson October 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm -


    Theoretically you could let the lock expire and then relock, but you’d be subject to worst-case pricing. And even if pricing is exactly the same, many lenders charge a relock fee. So floating doesn’t really work because they’ll just relock you at worst-case pricing, and tack on a relock fee to boot. So in a sense the lock extension fee is the safer bet to keep your original rate and credit in place. Even though pricing is the same today, or tomorrow, things can change quickly and without warning. However, if rates (and your credit) really are the same as the day you locked and some of the delay is the fault of the lender, they could extend the lock for free (out of good faith) and simply to get the deal done so they make their money. If it takes another several weeks and it’s not their fault, you shouldn’t expect them to cover the cost of extensions. Like anything else in the mortgage world, it always helps to negotiate and plead your case. They shouldn’t want to lose you as a customer, or lose potential referrals from you in the future, so making some concessions now could be a smart move.

  26. Joseph October 8, 2014 at 9:45 am -

    I have my loan tru cashcall, I closed last year at 4.35 – on a jumbo 540K loan – they called me today and offered to reduce my rate by 1/4 of percent (result in $100 reduction a month) at no cost – closing a new loan in Dec I agreed but I am a bit sceptic – why on earth they call and offer this? they said there is no catch – I just need your opinion – what do you think ? should I go for it ? they said they can ever give me 3.99 but I have to pay 1.xx point close to $2000 in closing fees and that wont make sense for me ! if rates go lower I can always re finance

    Please advise

  27. Colin Robertson October 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm -


    Not sure how many people would refinance just to reduce their payment by a quarter percent, or $100 a month, but to each their own…it’s your decision. Keep in mind that it extends your loan term if you’re actually interested in paying off the loan. And I don’t know what type of loan it is. Paying $2,000 in closing costs means you’d need to hold the loan for a certain number of months before breaking even on the upfront cost, which could hurt if you refinance a third time. Anyway, they’re probably offering it because they make money by selling your loan to investors.

  28. Josephmalkom October 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm -

    I have been only paying ofr 1 year – my current rate is 4.35 My new rate will be at 4.125 – I noticed I can get 3.99 too ! how can I get a better deal ? do they negotiate (they hardballed me yesterday) they are forcing me to sign the documents today

  29. Colin Robertson October 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm -

    If you want to see if there’s a better deal, shop around. Inquire with other lenders about rates with no fees.

  30. ladybug26 October 15, 2014 at 10:35 am -

    I am a first time home buyer and my lender asked me casually if I wanted to lock my rate with no explanation of what this meant. I said okay thinking that I could change this later. I found out, the next day, after asking my dad about it and he stated that today is a better day to lock the rates as it is significantly lower than the 4.25% that I locked yesterday. When speaking to the lender they stated that they cant change anything and also threw in my face that they are helping with 2k in closing costs. I feel as though I was taken advantage of because I wasn’t aware of what I was okaying. Is there anything that I can do at this point?

  31. Colin Robertson October 15, 2014 at 11:29 am -

    If you agreed to lock, you should accept some responsibility. Had rates gone up you probably wouldn’t be too upset. But seeing that they’ve dropped a good amount, you can certainly argue that they didn’t explain the lock process clearly to you and ask that they speak to the lock desk about lowering your rate in good faith. The squeaky wheel tends to get the grease in the mortgage world so negotiating and pleading your case is key. The $2,000 they’re giving you is probably just the lender credit for the given rate, it’s not a gift.

  32. Jig October 21, 2014 at 8:25 pm -

    I have signed a rate lock terms with my lenders 2 months ago, with a verbal commitment that if rates drop then they will honor the rates. today the rates drop more than 0.5%. I had signed for 3.57 and today other lenders are offering at 3.12% for 15 years and needed your help in deciding whether to go with the same high rate. my previous lender is unwilling to provide a lower rate. Please advise on whether to cancel the terms or not? Also if i wasn’t told of any cancellation penalties is it normal for lenders to charge cancellation fees for rate lock?

  33. Colin Robertson October 22, 2014 at 9:34 am -

    This is why verbal commitments aren’t really commitments after all…some banks charge rate lock cancellation fees, while others simply charge upfront for appraisal and credit report and those items might not be recouped if you go elsewhere. You can try to negotiate but if they won’t budge and rates are significantly cheaper elsewhere, it’d be tough to make a case for staying with your current lender, especially if you feel they already misled you.

  34. Jamieh. October 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm -

    Okay, Mr. Robertson. My mother was with the company “Green Point” in 2001, then in 2007 the company went bankrupt. The company “Greentree” is the current provider. They are not honoring the original contract, and refuse to send the original contract after it being requested on many of occasion. Should they still honor the contract, or are they allowed to change the rate? The original contract was set up for when she retired from the post office in 2013…but in 2013 when it was supposed to be paid off she was informed that she still had 7 years left. What if at all can she do? (sorry if this is worded badly, I am 18 and kind of don’t fully understand all of this lol)

    Thank you,

  35. Colin Robertson October 29, 2014 at 8:52 am -


    What did the contract say? What was her interest rate and what is it now? What is/was it supposed to be? I need some more details.

  36. Larry November 23, 2014 at 10:30 am -

    I received a GFE when I applied for a loan (4.875 with no discount points) and 22 days later asked to lock the rate at our newly negotiated 4.625% rate. I received email confirmation that they had me in at 4.625 now and did not mention anything about it being a buy down or discounted rate. No costs to lower the rate were ever relayed to me. The loan officer referred to it being locked in subsequently.
    The original GFE does not specify any rate locks so if the only reference to locked rate is the 4.625 why would they charge me discount points for the lower rate at closing?
    They knew I was on a time crunch for other reasons and had to sign for the refinance that day.

  37. Colin Robertson November 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm -


    I don’t know how your negotiation process went but they should have disclosed any cost to you for the given rate offered.

  38. Larry November 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm -

    Thanks Colin,

    I advised via email that I was going with a different lender and the response from my LO came back “we have you in at 4.625%, I can lock it today”. No mention of costs or fees to purchase this rate was offered until night before signing in an emailed GFE.

    The original GFE said “I” had to lock my interest rate in which I believe I did via email and it was confirmed via email. We did not have a rate lock document as I was on a tight deadline anyway but how could they charge discount fees if first notice of costs to buy down was night before signing?

    I had to sign and they knew it because I was refinancing a short settlement which would result in a principal forgiveness with former lender but the deadline was already extended and could not be extended again.

    Thanks so much

  39. Colin Robertson November 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm -

    Not sure why they offered you a lower rate at a cost to you. Perhaps to reel you in if you were thinking of going elsewhere? Were you happy with 4.875%? It sounds like they disclosed the new rate/fees and you went with it, even if reluctantly, though it doesn’t sound like the LO was very upfront about it.

  40. Caspase December 15, 2014 at 12:18 am -

    We agreed to a an 7/1 ARM loan with our lender. The loan got approved, and in 2 weeks the Escrow will close. Is it possible to changed the 7/1 ARM to 30 yr fixed with the same lender?

  41. Colin Robertson December 15, 2014 at 11:54 am -


    Just let your lender know ASAP…if you already locked, they’ll likely need to use 30-year fixed pricing from the day you locked.

  42. norma December 23, 2014 at 10:47 am -

    Hi! Should I do a rate lock of 4.125% for 60 days or let it float until we are closer to closing in January or February?

  43. Colin Robertson December 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm -


    That’s a personal decision. It depends on today’s pricing versus what you believe pricing will be like in the near future. Nobody can say with certainty what the right move is. Someone who thinks rates will be lower when it comes time to close might choose to float. The opposite is also true. Generally it’s something you’ll discuss with your loan officer or broker.

  44. Caroline January 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm -


    Our closing is delayed 2+ weeks due to a burst pipe at the house. Our lock is expiring but rates are now lower. Do we HAVE to pay to extend our lock at a higher interest rate or can we let the lock expire and float it until closing? Thanks!

  45. Colin Robertson January 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm -


    Some lenders charge a relock fee and/or offer worse-case pricing if your lock expires and you relock within 30 days of expiration. So it can be tricky to “win” here, but you may want to see what your lender’s specific rate lock policy is and determine if they can help you out given the recent rate drop. Also note that rates can also rise, so there’s no absolute guarantee they stay low over the next couple days, weeks, etc.

  46. Ellie January 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm -

    My rate lock is about to expire. Since rates have gone down, why would I not just let it expire and start over? Why pay a rate extension fee?

  47. Colin Robertson January 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm -


    Read my previous comments. It’s not so simple unless you apply with a different lender and start the process over again.

  48. Forest January 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm -

    We just locked a rate for a refinance last week. It is 3.75% for 20 years. Our mortgage person in charge told us that the penalty is just over $1,000 to unlock and use a new rate. Our rate lock will expire in the middle of March.

    Could you give us your advice. What rate should we unlock and use a new rate?

    Thank you for great information on your website.

  49. Colin Robertson January 30, 2015 at 4:04 pm -


    Not sure what the unlocking penalty is…usually if you switch loan programs after locking the lender uses worse-case pricing from the original day you locked and the day you change the lock. So if rates went down since you locked, you’d just get the original day’s pricing. But if rates increased, you’d have to take the higher rate if you wanted to switch programs. That’s generally how it works.

  50. Forest January 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm -

    Thank you Colin. I might not use accurate word “penalty.” The person in charge said that we need about $1,000 to use a new rate in the locking period. I might make mistake what she said.

    Generally, how much percent of a rate goes down during locking period, we should use a new rate, even though we pay $1000? Or let me know if you know good calculation website for refinance.

    Thanks a lot!

  51. Dave February 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm -

    I recently had my home appraised for 470k, I then applied for a re-finance, but their appraisal came back at 425k. This raised the loan to value ratio to above 70%.

    So now they want $3,000+ cash to close, rather than zero.

    Does this change the game regarding breaking the rate lock? Or will I still need to pay the loan origination & attorney fees? I realize I would be out the fee for the required appraisal, as I all ready paid it out of pocket.

    Thank you!

  52. Colin Robertson February 3, 2015 at 11:10 am -

    Hey Dave,

    It might be that if you want the original interest rate you locked, you’ll have to pay points now to obtain it at the higher LTV because pricing worsens as the LTV rises. Alternatively, you might be able to take a slightly higher interest rate and still get the original $0 cost or close to it. Those other fees are paid if and when the loan closes.

  53. Colin Robertson February 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm -


    It sounds like you would have to determine how long the lower interest rate would need to be paid monthly to recoup any related costs.

  54. armen February 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm -

    Hi Colin,

    My rate (3.87) expired last feb 5 and and was re-locked by the bank up to feb 23 for free (out of good faith). I was disappointed to find out that I will close on march 3rd which means that I need to re-lock again. This time my loan officer is telling me that I need to pay a full extension fee. What are my options? I don’t want to pay extension fees as much as possible. Can I pay .125 for seven days instead of the .25 days for 15 days. Thanks

  55. Colin Robertson February 18, 2015 at 12:48 am -


    You can try to negotiate a smaller extension fee but it might be tough if they already gave you a freebie.

  56. Victoria March 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    If I lock in my rate for 60 days from lender A, and let’s say 15 days before the closing the rate drops and lender B can give me a lower rate. Would lender A penalize me for not using them and going with lender B? Thank you!

  57. Colin Robertson March 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm -


    It depends what their lock agreement says and what you’ve already paid, if it’s non-refundable, and so on.

  58. Anna March 9, 2015 at 9:06 am -

    Hi Colin,
    Using PHFA loans and the interest rate was initially 3.75% when I signed, however I had to wait 3 days for the seller to sign the agreement and now the interest rate is 3.875%! My agreement says not to exceed 3.875% , should I lock the rate since my finance advisor said the interest today is 3.875%??

  59. Colin Robertson March 9, 2015 at 9:10 am -


    That’s up to you. Rates can fluctuate and change daily (as you’ve seen) and it sounds like you aren’t allowed to let the rate drift any higher…they can also drop too but then it becomes a speculation game.

  60. Christina March 18, 2015 at 8:28 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    Since early February I’ve been in the process of refinancing my home, which I have 100k in equity on. I was told by my mortgage broker that I should go from an FHA to a conventional loan and accept a higher interest rate (4%) as it would mean less in closing costs. I agreed and was sold on the numbers they presented me with as they said I was locked in at that rate. I had the appraisal done March 3rd and have not been charged for it yet. After I contacted the broker to get an update, she finally communicated to me that the lender didn’t turn in my loan documents “on time” and now I’m being asked to take a 4.1% rate and to roll in an additional $500 to my loan. I am displeased with the service I have received so far and that I am not getting the deal I wanted because of the brokers/lenders fault.

    My question is, am I still responsible for paying the appraisal? I signed an appraisal fee authorization with my credit card information more than a month ago. My GFE stated that it was good through 2/26/15 and it doesn’t appear that the interest rate was ever locked. It’s been a slow process, they’ve done a poor job of communicating with me and now they are offering me a deal that I didn’t sign up for. I feel I can get a better deal elsewhere and/or just do an FHA streamline with my current lender. Advice?

  61. Colin Robertson March 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm -


    Generally, if a lender screws up you shouldn’t be paying more, they should work with you to make it right. And there’s a chance rates may drop a bit in the near term, so that could also help you get the deal you want. I don’t know about switching loan types/programs entirely because of a delay and slight change in pricing. If you’re that wishy washy you may want to rerun the numbers.

  62. Sam March 20, 2015 at 1:47 pm -

    My lender who is also my builder is offering a 6month rate lock. For my house which will ready in September, he is offering a 30yrs rate lock of 3.25%. When i put forth the same before another lender/bank, he started laughing this off saying no lender will stand by their word so far ahead. With the recent news that the interest rates might increase in June, is it advisable to lock the rate so far ahead. Please advice.

  63. Colin Robertson March 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm -

    Is it a 30-year fixed? Or just a 30-year loan? There’s a difference…it does sound very low. When it comes to locking, it’s always your decision. You can’t ask someone to predict the future for you, and that’s basically how rates work. It’s an unknown whether they’ll go up or down. People generally lock if they feel they’ve got a good deal today and won’t see anything better in the future.

  64. Vincent March 30, 2015 at 11:18 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I applied for a mortgage and did not have benefit by the loan officer of discussing a rate lock or float option. I was not aware there was such a thing as a float option until FeEx delivered the loan packet (3- disclosure) and I read the Floating or Price Protection page. I absolutely would want a floating rate in this rate environment. I immediately called my lender who insists I am stuck with the locked rate. Please advise if she is correct.

  65. Colin Robertson March 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm -


    It’s generally good business practice to discuss floating with borrowers before actually locking. Did you ask why they went ahead and locked without running it by you first? If they aren’t being forthright perhaps consider shopping around elsewhere.

  66. Mike April 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm -

    We applied for a refi (with same lender of our current mortgage). We have locked the rate. Their terms state we are responsible for the 3rd party fees (about $450) if the loan does not close. If rates were to drop between now and closing, is there any problem that is not apparent with simply not closing with the lender, losing the 3rd party fees per the agreement, and going with another lender at a lower rate if it’s an overall better deal for us? Basically, I’m asking if there’s possibly some additional catch you see that we’re not seeing.

  67. Colin Robertson April 4, 2015 at 9:26 pm -


    I can’t see what you see, but generally lenders charge that application fee/appraisal fee of several hundred bucks to cover their costs in the event the loan doesn’t close. And borrowers do tend to shop around in the event there’s a better deal.

  68. Cody April 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm -

    Hi Colin,

    I verbally agreed to have my rate locked at 3.75 but did not sign any papers nor did we discuss the length period. Can I argue that since I didn’t sign any documents, the rate locked is not valid?

  69. Colin Robertson April 22, 2015 at 8:31 am -


    If you verbally agreed and rates went up, you’d probably ask your lender to stand by your lock.

  70. kona April 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm -

    Hi Colin – I locked in a rate at 3.75 but that was because the lender agreed to pay mortgage insurance for me (I put down 10% when I purchased the home about 1.5years ago). Without the lender-paid MGI my rate would have been 3.50 at the time we locked it in. The whole scenario was built on the premise that my house would be at the very least be appraised at the amount paid for it. It turns out my house was appraised for about 20k more than I paid for it. Assuming I am willing to pay the remainder that will get me to 20% equity, can I technically request that the extra 0.25% put on for mortgage insurance be removed? Or once locked I can’t do anything about the rate?

  71. Colin Robertson April 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm -


    If you no longer require LPMI and it was built into your rate, they will probably adjust the rate down based on what it would have been without it on the day it was originally locked.

  72. Jai April 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm -

    Hi Colin – I locked in at 3.875% with $890 rebate for a cash-out refi almost 3 weeks ago. The appraisal is done and the loan was to close in a little over a week. Today the lender informs me they no longer offer cash-out refi in my state. Now to get the same deal with another lender it will cost me $2,500 more and extend the closing time. Can I hold this lender responsible for this additional cost to get the loan from another lender due to their negligence? Is there any legal ramification for them? Thanks, Jai

  73. Colin Robertson May 4, 2015 at 9:46 am -

    Hi Jai,

    Not sure you can hold them accountable if it turns out they can’t do your loan. It’s certainly unfortunate. Maybe you can plead (to management) for them to close your loan since you were already locked and submitted before their apparent change in policy?

  74. Trevor May 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm -

    We are in the process of refinancing. We locked in at 3.79% for 90 days. i have a written agreement and gave the bank my credit card to secure it with $500. Since then, the bank sent their own appraiser (which they own—I had to sign the disclosure stating such) and the appraisal came in $30,00 under what I estimated the home to be worth on my application. Now they are saying the interest rate will increase to 4.3% because the Loan To Value (LTV) is too high. Can they do that? I do see that in my rate lock agreement there is a paragraph that says “If any information in the ‘Details of your property’ section changes, your interest rate may be subject to change.” This feels like a classic bait & switch to me and a half point increase is significant. At the very least, I should be able to rescind the lock-in agreement and not lose my $500! What are my options here? Thank you.

  75. Colin Robertson May 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm -


    Like you pointed out yourself, the lock is subject to change if the loan changes, which it did because the value came in low and thus the LTV went up. You can ask for a second appraisal, proceed with that new LTV, or shop elsewhere but watch out for the upfront appraisal fees.

  76. Jai May 6, 2015 at 11:52 am -

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for getting back. We tried that approach, but then come to find out apparently they never offered cash out loan in TX. The loan officer screwed up. They have offered to do a regular refi at 3.75% at no cost. Since this is better than what we would get elsewhere now, we have decided to accept their offer. But I wish there was some legal way of holding this loan officer accountable. Now we have to come up with another source of funds for remodeling. Thank you!

  77. Nadia May 10, 2015 at 10:45 am -

    Hi Colin,

    My newly built house is due to be completed at the end of this month. I have yet to lock-in a rate. the lender #1 works directly with my builder but their rates are not competitive. I have talked to my loan officer with lender #1 and he willing to match Lenders#2 who is more competitive. The only thing I need to do is provide him with an official cost estimate from lender #2. So as I’m waiting for rate to drop I have been notified by my loan processor of lender #1 that my loan has been almost processed. My question is the following, If my loan gets processed and the lender #1 won’t give me a competitive rate, can I still switch the lender or am I stuck with whatever lender #1 offers? Thank you in advance.

  78. Colin Robertson May 11, 2015 at 10:33 am -


    Generally you can always switch lenders before actually signing the closing loan documents, but beware of any upfront costs that may not be refundable if you don’t use that specific lender.

  79. Alexis May 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    We’re in WA state, and finally after 8 offers and swapping to another lender our offer was accepted on a house. However, three days before we put the offer on the house I checked with the lender to make sure if was within our affordable terms, and we had enough money for down payment and closing. He gives me a quote over the phone, and everything was ok. We signed the sales and purchase agreement on the Friday and on Monday he tells me that my mortgage payment is $75 more per month than he originally quoted and our closing out of pocket costs have doubled!! When both my husband and I questioned him about his previous quote, he says the market changes (yes we all know that we’re not idiots) and then denies ever giving me the other quote over the phone! We are now literally sick to our stomachs as we don’t have the extra money for closing. Our lender says the bank will come after our IRA’s to take the money out. Or my kids college fund if we don’t have the money in our accounts. We also put $5000 Ernest money down as we were told $2000 wasn’t enough to be taken seriously in the Seattle area market. We are awaiting for the appraisal to come back, and hopefully it will come in low or there will be something in the title. When I asked our lender why we couldn’t do a pre-lock? He replied that their bank doesn’t do that, and no one does in the country!! I really feel like we’ve been taken for a ride, and may possibly loose our Ernest money if we have to pull out because of terrible misrepresentation by this lender!!
    Thanks for any help you can give to us.

  80. Colin Robertson May 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm -


    Maybe you can take a slightly higher interest rate in exchange for a lender credit to cover those closing costs (so they aren’t paid out of pocket). And possibly shop around at different banks is this guy isn’t being forthright.

  81. Valarie May 22, 2015 at 7:15 am -

    I locked in a 30year fixed at 3.875% with 0 points. The lock expires 15 June. I’ve just received paper work that said I’m locked in for 30yrs at 3.875% with $1942.50 in points. The loan is a refinance. Original purchase price was $235,000, current appraised value is $139,000. I owe $122,000 and have agreed to the total loan to be 80% of the appraised value. The property is a condo. My current rate is 5.25%. My plan was to pay it off or reduce the payment low enough to take into retirement. Retirement is 2 years 3 months from now. Is this legal? Is the good faith? Can I force them to honor our original agreement?

  82. Colin Robertson May 23, 2015 at 8:05 am -


    There should be an explanation as to why the cost of the loan changed, and perhaps a re-disclosed GFE. Ask why it is now a cost.

  83. Beth June 9, 2015 at 7:46 am -

    Hi Colin, We began the refi process with a local CU on 4/17. It is now 6/9 and they have finally gotten through appraisal/underwriting etc. We were *never* offered or talked to about a rate lock. The rate they are now quoting us is 4.875% – which is much higher than the original 4.375% they quoted us on the GFE. We would certainly have locked the rate earlier, but we were never given that option. Do we have any grounds to negotiate with them to lower the rate? I know legally they don’t have to do anything, but do you think they’ll budge? (For the record, communication has been terrible. The LO doesn’t answer her phone, ever, and takes 48 hours or more to return emails.)

  84. Colin Robertson June 9, 2015 at 11:22 am -


    Are you sure you didn’t sign a disclosure about floating your rate early on. You can always try to negotiate a lower rate and/or lower fees, but decide why they should negotiate with you before you make that call. And there’s always hope rates dip again before it’s time to close, though the opposite can also happen.

  85. Mike D June 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm -

    I have an interesting wife and I checked out a house and put an offer in. the offer was accepted but never went to attorney review because the woman could not guarantee she could be out (probably shouldn’t of been selling). Anyway, our lender said we could lock in at 3.75 for 90 days or 3.83 for 120 days..I chose to lock in at 3.83 and received an email confirmation…the house shortly fell through and within 4 days we had another offer in, accepted, and through attorney review- now the lender is saying the best they can do is 4%…the thing is the 120 days haven’t expired- my question is the rate for me or the property? Please help thank you.

  86. Colin Robertson June 12, 2015 at 4:46 pm -

    Mike D,

    Locks are generally tied to a given property, not YOU as a borrower. The lock agreement may even specify that. Some banks may allow you to transfer the lock to the new property but it also probably depends on the rate environment, which as you probably know has not been favorable. 4% is not far off from 3.83%…you could haggle for some closing costs maybe?

  87. Ann H June 28, 2015 at 9:19 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I wanted to refinance with my original bank. Three months ago, when I inquired about it, my loan officer sent me a disclosure with a rate of about 4.2. I wanted to lock but they didn’t do it. Now I’ve gotten a second disclosure with an additional 5000 in fees and a rate of 4.6. My FICO is good (not excellent, but good) and has gotten better in the past three months. I have made every payment on time since the loan orgination. Is this ethical? And is this rate as horrible as it seems to me? I’m considering backing out of the loan altogether.

  88. Colin Robertson June 29, 2015 at 8:35 am -


    You “wanted” to lock? You either lock or you don’t and you get confirmation right after. It doesn’t sound like it was clear that you 100% wanted to lock X rate. In any case rates have risen, which explains your new higher rate that went unlocked. You could shop elsewhere or reconsider the refinance if you’re no longer happy with the rate.

  89. Sam July 2, 2015 at 10:14 am -

    Hi Colin,
    I had my lender extend my rate lock 4 times due to their fault and delays in processing. I would like to know what it actually costs the lender to extend this rate lock to me each time. I believe that there is no cost involved as they are the lenders and they can choose whatever interest they would like to provide me for the loan. Please clarify.


  90. Colin Robertson July 2, 2015 at 10:37 am -


    Everything has a cost…especially in a rising rate environment. And the longer the rate lock period, the higher the price because they’re guaranteeing something (a price that can fluctuate) further into the unknown future. But banks hedge their interest rate risk so technically they might be just fine. Still, it’s a concession on their behalf to extend your lock for free but completely fair if it’s their fault.

  91. Ivan July 22, 2015 at 8:15 am -

    So my interest rate lock expires the same day as I’m set to have my closing. Will i be able to keep my rate?

  92. Colin Robertson July 22, 2015 at 11:04 pm -


    Ask your lender…they should be able to extend a day or two if necessary. I’m sure they’re also well aware of the expiration date.

  93. Brendon August 3, 2015 at 7:04 pm -

    Hi Colin,

    I locked in a 6 month rate lock with a lender (new construction) but the lender never actually took any money from me, rather they mentioned the cost in the GFE (1% of loan) as a settlement cost. I am now within 60 days of closing and rates are a little lower than before. I found another lender who is offering a rate which is 0.5% less and no points for the 60 day lock. So I would be saving $5K in upfront costs (1% of loan) and $150 in monthly mortgage if I went with this second lender. If I change lenders, would I owe the lock in fees to the first lender? Can they come after me for the lock in fee they never took from me? They havent really done any title search, appraisal, etc as we are still 60 days from closing.

    Both these lenders are the “big banks”, not a regional or mom-pop shop. Any rules that govern this stuff?

  94. Colin Robertson August 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm -


    So-called lock jumping is perhaps more a question of ethics, and sometimes a matter of upfront fees that may have been paid. But if rates improve significantly it’s not unexpected for borrowers to shop around or attempt to negotiate with their existing lender. It probably works both ways – sometimes lenders are on the losing end, sometimes on the winning end if business jumps their way. Be sure to consider the new bank’s closing track record when thinking of switching lenders. And remember rates can move quickly.

  95. Christina August 12, 2015 at 7:45 am -

    We are building a house and using the builder’s preferred lender as they pay closing costs. We locked in a 60-day rate and have been told that, as a small bank, there is “nothing” that they can do to take advantage of lower rates. While I understand if rates went up, then I would be thrilled I was locked; but I am furious that I cannot go down.

    Is there anything that I can do, or any leverage that I have to take advantage of lower rates, without letting the lock expire?

  96. DB August 22, 2015 at 4:11 am -

    My lender locked me in at 3.85%. One of the agreements of the offer was that I would get a second pre-approval by the sellers’ lender. It came back at 3.75%. They seem more than willing to bend over backwards for my business.

    Im not really happy with the way my lender is handling things (Quicken Loans).

    Can I use the fact I’m pre-approved with this other local lender as leverage to get a lower rate with my current lender? I’m sort of sorry I didn’t shop around locally first.

  97. Colin Robertson August 22, 2015 at 9:27 am -


    You can always try to negotiate…and it certainly helps to have another lower offer to state your case. Good luck.

  98. jojobee August 31, 2015 at 12:01 am -

    I’m under contract to buy a house. I’ve been “pre approved” and signed all the loan documents, but now that the inspections have shown me all the problems, I’m thinking of backing out. What are my obligations to the lender if I do that?

  99. Colin Robertson August 31, 2015 at 10:06 am -


    It depends if you paid for anything upfront. Check your paperwork.

  100. Hannah October 4, 2015 at 7:46 am -

    USAA quoted me a mortgage rate of 3.625% with .625 points. I called the next day and they locked me in for a different rate of 3.625% with 1.125 points. This was not disclosed, and I would not have asked them to move forward with the credit check and loan process for that rate. I asked that they pull the phone record of our call. Now, I’m not able to even use USAA to see if they have lower interest options at this point and now my credit score will show that it was checked. Is there anything I can do?

  101. Colin Robertson October 7, 2015 at 11:37 am -


    Sounds like a company you won’t want to do business with if the cost jumped that much and they didn’t tell you. You can shop around and not worry about credit inquiries because FICO knows when you’re shopping for a mortgage by grouping together credit hits from multiple lenders into one single hit.

  102. Tony October 7, 2015 at 3:59 pm -


    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac does not regulate or require any financing institution, including Banks or Credit Unions, to purchase an appraisal prior to locking-in a clients mortgage interest rate.

  103. Christine October 18, 2015 at 10:48 am -

    I am approaching closing and my rate was locked for 30 days. I spoke to the banker on September 28th, my loan application was generated on September 29th and I signed the loan application on September 30th. My lender is saying that the interest rate was locked and if the closing does not occur by September 28th I would have to pay a fee to extend the lock. I signed on the 30th and docs were generated on Sept 29th. They want to charge me $150 for 1 day extenion. It seems suspect.

  104. John October 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm -

    I’m doing a refinance and want to cash out as much equity as possible without incurring PMI. The house appraised higher than expected but our rate lock was based upon a lower refinance amount (the house appraised 12% higher). Our lock is expired (but we’re being given a free two day lock extension)… I’d like to increase the amount of the loan to maximize the cash out… The bank is telling us that we’d need to pay for a new lock if we wanted to change the loan amount… This doesn’t sound logical to me, because our going in position was based upon wanting to get the maximum amount of equity out of the home (e.g. we really didn’t make a specific loan amount request – we stated a goal to which the loan originator assigned a value)

    What are the reasons that the bank doesn’t want to allow us to change the loan amount at this point?

  105. Colin Robertson October 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm -


    Lock extension fees are common and normal – if it was their fault ask for them to cover the fee in good faith.

  106. Colin Robertson October 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm -


    Check their rate lock policy. They may not allow loan amount changes once the rate is locked. Of course, you can always try to work something out with them if they were aware of your intention to see what the value came in at.

  107. Borrower November 7, 2015 at 7:14 pm -

    I applied for a 10 year refinance and I got approved for the amount requested. I then locked the interest at a great rate (2.75%). The lock is good if the loan amount does not change by more than $10,000 below or above the original amount approved. Unfortunately my house did not appraise for the amount I expected and I have to reduce the amount of the loan by $20,000 to stay at 80% loan to value to avoid paying PMI. Now, the interest rate is higher. Will I be able to relock the interest rate if it goes down again?

  108. Colin Robertson November 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm -


    Check the bank’s lock policy to determine if you can relock at market price or if it’s worse-case pricing. Or try to negotiate with them to honor your rate.

  109. Jains November 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm -

    Hi, I called my Loan officer and told to lock the rate verbally. They sent me the Disclosure document to sign but I haven’t signed anything yet. I have to sign them until 11/26. Can I still shop around and re-negotiate with them in case I find a lower rate? Would they be ready to negotiate again and give me a new rate since I have not signed anything yet. Also, in case they are ready, would they charge me anything?

  110. Colin Robertson November 19, 2015 at 9:56 am -


    Sounds like you told them to lock your loan, meaning it should be locked on the day you agreed to lock. You can still shop around with other lenders, but your original lender may charge you a non-refundable fee for appraisal or other costs (check your paperwork to see if anything is charged upfront). And negotiating once locked could prove difficult unless you have a compelling reason.

  111. Mitra December 18, 2015 at 10:59 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    Appreciate your time. I am just wondering if there is any possibilities that either loan officer or lender try to kill time, for any reasons, to make the rate lock expires intentionally. Would there be any benefits for either of them?

  112. Colin Robertson December 21, 2015 at 11:09 am -


    If they’re the ones delaying it, they’d be the ones that should pay for any lock extensions while maintaining your original rate/price, so I wouldn’t think so.

  113. anniec February 1, 2016 at 10:50 pm -

    Hello Colin,
    Could a lender change mortgage rate after they bought my loan from another lender, in this case B of A? I had a great rate of 30yrs fixed at 2% after going through a trial period. Now Fay Servicing, the new lender, says it is still a trial period and wants to increase my interest rate. Please help. I do have B of A papers that state that it was fixed at 2% for 30years. Could B of A sold it to Fay under pretense that it was still in modification period? Do I have any power to tell Fay that with B of A, I had fixed 30yrs at 2%? Please advise.

    Thank you so much for your advice.

  114. Colin Robertson February 1, 2016 at 11:07 pm -


    You may want to read your paperwork closely to determine if that 2% rate is truly fixed for the life of the loan. If so, you may want to inquire with BofA/Fay to get to the bottom of why they’re trying to increase it. If they shouldn’t be you should be able to argue accordingly.

  115. Joe February 5, 2016 at 5:49 pm -

    Hi, I locked in a rate with USAA over the phone. It went down .10% the next day. I got the paperwork and it looks like I am agreeing to it when I sign. Can I still call and ask to lock in a new rate and for new papers to sign? Or is there something else I am missing? Thanks!

  116. Colin Robertson February 7, 2016 at 11:01 am -


    Until you lock you can ask for a price update if you believe rates have fallen.

  117. Joe February 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm -

    I am a Vet and currently in a VA loan.
    I just started the process to refi.
    The originator stated she locked me into a 3.25% in which we signed for.
    The next day the lender sent us a 3% rate lock, we were happy to sign.
    The originator states it a mistake.
    Can the lender rescind?
    If he truly made a mistake, the opening page came from SVP of Marketing.
    Please advise.

  118. Colin Robertson February 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm -


    If it was truly a mistake they’ll likely stick to their guns. You could ask to meet in the middle, at 3.125%, out of good faith if you feel you’ve been wronged. Not sure if fighting for 3% will get you anywhere, but that’s between you and the lender.

  119. Greg March 5, 2016 at 7:46 am -

    Hey Colin… Think your site is great. My wife and I are first time home buyers. We won the bid on our house (agreed that we’d close by April 15th). Our mortgage lender asked if we wanted to lock and because rates were so low (3.25) and potentially going up, we agreed believing we’d finish the process by that time. The seller suddenly hit us with wanting to close late in June. We’re trying to negotiate an earlier closing but they’re not budging much… Perhaps only a few weeks under a U&O as they apparently want to stay in their house until their daughter graduates high school. (Something not mentioned earlier.) Our lender said they could extend the lock to April 25 and after which, it would be $85 a day. Over the course of two months, that’s pretty sizeable. I’m not quite sure what to do at this point. Do we allow the rate to lapse and then start the process again in April to entirely to stay within a 60 rate lock hoping for a better number even though rates are going up? (As we predicted.) We feel pretty screwed by the sellers at this point but, knowing they had other offers on the home, aren’t sure what recourse we have.

  120. Colin Robertson March 5, 2016 at 10:21 am -


    That’s unfortunate. If you do decide to let the lock expire and relock with the same lender make sure their lock agreement allows for new market pricing and not worse-case based on the original day you locked. Most do if enough time has passed. Rates can also drift lower over time…you have several months to eyeball rates so there’s a potential advantage there as well if you look on the bright side. There’s always the option to look at other lenders during this time as well.

  121. Greg March 6, 2016 at 7:19 am -

    Thanks for your help Colon. I appreciate it! Will keep you posted on how it all turns out.

  122. Lydia March 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm -

    Hi Colin
    Applying for a 30yr fixed with NYMCU
    Disclosures quoted a 3.669 apr on 3/14 I signed on 3/16 but they do not lock the rate. Was called today and informed that the rate went up to 3.75! Don’t know the apr yet. There paperwork states the rate is not guaranteed so does this mean that the rates could keep going up until I close. I’m so disappointed because for the past few weeks while shopping for a loan the credit union was consistent in offering 3.66 until now that I’m actually near the end of the process then I’m hit with the increase.
    Any suggestions.

  123. Colin Robertson March 22, 2016 at 11:35 am -


    If you want to lock your rate you need to tell them and ask for paperwork to ensure it’s locked at the rate you desire. Unfortunately, rates do fluctuate if they aren’t locked, though they can move both up and down. If you’re totally unhappy you can try to negotiate with them or get new quotes from other lenders that may offer lower rates.

  124. Capree March 29, 2016 at 10:53 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I’m in the process of trying to lock a rate from my builder’s lender. They’re offering 3.875% and $1295 credit. Is that good? Another lender offered me 3.625%, but if I go with them, I will have to pay an extra $3500 in closing costs since the builder won’t pay the entire $7K if I go with another lender. Thoughts?

  125. Colin Robertson April 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm -


    Depends what you do with the mortgage…if you keep it for a long time eventually the lower rate will pay off because you’ll have covered the closing costs and will be enjoying a lower rate (payment) each month for years to come. But if you don’t keep it for very long it could make sense to limit out-of-pocket costs. There’s always a third or fourth lender to compare to as well…

  126. Alice May 26, 2016 at 8:52 pm -

    Dear Colin,

    My lender quoted me 3.5% for a 30 yr fixed rate and when I asked him several times to lock in the rate, he either says he will lock it in later or he simply doesn’t reply my email. Our appraisal has already came back, the price is 12% higher than our buying price. And he has already submitted our application to the underwriter. We are 20 days away from the settlement date, given the fed announcement few days ago, I really want to lock in the rate as it will very likely to go up in june. Any thoughts why our lender doesn’t want to lock the rate for us now? I actually told him that even it’s slightly higher than 3.5% we can also stomach. Any way to get him lock the rate for us or shall I change to other lender at this point? I feel it’s a bit late to change lenders as we are only 20 days away from settlement. Thanks a lot!


  127. Colin Robertson June 1, 2016 at 8:08 am -


    That’s frustrating but not unheard of. I’m sure he will have some excuse for not getting back to you, but it’s always good to get a lock in writing so there aren’t any surprises at the 11th hour. Good luck!

  128. SAM June 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm -

    Hi, We are a first time home buyer and have signed up for a new construction condo that will be ready around July-August 2017. Is there a way that we can get a guaranteed fixed rate mortgage commitment. We have an excellent FICO score and will paying down 20-25% of the price.

    – SAM

  129. Colin Robertson June 24, 2016 at 4:12 pm -


    It’s possible to lock rates in ahead of time via pre-lock, though it depends on the lender. Many lenders also have very long lock periods, such as 90-120 days, but the longer the lock period, the less favorable the pricing because they are guaranteeing a rate for a lot more time and that is clearly more risky.

  130. Mel June 28, 2016 at 8:44 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I am awaiting closing on loan which has passed the 60 day lock period and is now in an extension period due to lender and underwriters and no fault of my own. With todays market, the rates had dropped significantly enough to warrant re-consideration. Can I ask this lender to re-lock at a lower rate and can they do this without additional costs to me or what would be my best option?


  131. Colin Robertson June 28, 2016 at 9:07 am -


    You can certainly ask for a float down at no cost in light of market improvements, but there’s no guarantee they’ll oblige. Typically, you kind of have to state your case to get some kind of benefit.

  132. Syed Rah July 7, 2016 at 9:27 am -

    Hi Colin R.
    I am buying a home soon, got a disclosure from a lender on my locked interest rate at 4.25% for 30 Year Fixed Rate Conventional with all closing costs taken care by the Lender (around 3500$ paid by lender and around 3600$ for escrow etc.) The agent locked it for 15 day I believe. House around 235K, for 10% down by me, credit score around 750. Is 4.25% a good rate to be locked at? When I googled the current interest rate, it shows around 3.7% as of July 4th on multiple websites. Please suggest. Thank You. Syed Rah

  133. Colin Robertson July 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm -


    Hard to say – it looks like you’re getting a pretty big lender credit to pay all closing costs and a good chunk of escrow and you’re only putting 10% down. The rates you see advertised might be for 20%+ down at par (no closing costs paid for by lender). The rate may also be higher if mortgage insurance is built in, or lower if paid separately.

  134. Stephen July 26, 2016 at 5:24 pm -

    Hi Colin R,

    We have recently purchased a new construction house. We locked the rates in a while ago and now it looks like we’re going to just go over our rate lock in period. We have been told that if we don’t take the rate lock extension (we don’t want to do this as interest rates have dropped a bit) that we will have to wait 31 days before anyone else can get us a mortgage. Is this true?

    Thanks, Stephen.

  135. Colin Robertson July 28, 2016 at 10:00 am -


    Sometimes the bank you originally went with will subject you to worse-case pricing for a period of 30 days once the lock expires, but other lenders may have no problem re-locking your loan at current pricing.

  136. Charles August 26, 2016 at 10:09 am -

    Hi Colin R,

    I am trying to refinance a 30yr fixed, as a single guy with over 770 credit score. I have 20% down and have had a recent appraisal to confirm.

    I’m in Illinois, and the rate I am getting is around 4.125. The bank is requiring I pay an $1800 relock fee at that rate (long story), which i’m not sure is a good idea. My loan officer can knock it down to $1200.

    Is the loan APR rate too high? Would it be wise to relock or what can I do to get a current rate if they are better? Bankrate lists < 3.5% for Illinois.

  137. Colin Robertson August 28, 2016 at 8:31 am -


    It’s hard to say whether that rate is good/bad without knowing all the details, but paying a coupe grand to relock doesn’t sound very favorable. Options might include waiting for X days until the relock fee no longer applies or taking the loan to a different lender that ideally has a lower rate and no relock fee to worry about. Might want to shop around first to see what kind of rate you can get elsewhere.

  138. justin October 5, 2016 at 10:47 am -

    My bank is offering me a 90 day rate lock today 10/5/16. Do you think I should lock or float to a 45 day or shorter lock? I realize this is an educated guess.

  139. Colin Robertson October 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm -


    The general way to look at it is if you’re happy with the rate and don’t see rates getting any better before you close, lock. If you aren’t fully sold on the rate and think there’s room for improvement (enough to justify waiting), you can float. But then you’re guessing, like you said, unless you’re an expert on the matter.

  140. Peter October 18, 2016 at 5:06 am -

    I’m about to close on a VA refinance 30 yr fix but was expecting $3200-3500 lender credit when I did the 90 day rate lock at 3,25% back in late July. This was agreed upon over the phone after I shopped around for a few days and they came with an additional ~$1000 lender credit and that’s when I decided to lock it in. But now my lender is giving me only $2200 credit due to the lower loan amount from the estimated $331000 to the final total of $327400. I was never told that it can fluctuate during our initial conversation plus that now he doesn’t remember giving me the extra ~$1000 amount even though that was the main reason I decided to go with this lender. Is there any possible recourse?

  141. Colin Robertson October 19, 2016 at 7:56 am -


    The credit is dictated by the loan amount because it’s a percentage of the loan amount, so it can move lower with the loan amount. As for the $1000 you verbally discussed, I don’t know, that’s between you and the lender.

  142. Jean October 26, 2016 at 6:07 am -

    I am purchasing a new home and it will not be done until January 2017. The loan officer wanted me to lock 90 days interest rate until January with 0.125% higher interest rate then the current rate. Should I lock or wait until 30 days before closing?

  143. Colin Robertson October 26, 2016 at 7:39 am -


    That’s up to you…essentially if you think rates will rise from now until then locking now might make sense and vice versa.

  144. Kevin November 17, 2016 at 8:28 am -

    I’m in the process of purchasing a new home. I closed on my last home on Sept 9. My new home is scheduled to close on Dec 14. In mid-October I noticed a credit check was done. I contacted the lender and asked if it was them that pulled the credit. It was, and was told that all is good and they sent it to underwriting. They had qualified me in June at 4.25 but was told to pay down some debt and I should be able to get a lower rate. Was also told that once the old mortgage had been removed the rate should increase as my credit score would get a jump. They came back with a 4.125 rate. I questioned this since I had been told on a couple of occasions that I could expect about 3.70-3.90. They pulled up my credit report and told me it was because my old mortgage hadn’t dropped off. I was furious at that point since that is exactly what they were waiting for but only gave it three-weeks since closing (they did the pull on Oct 4). My understanding is they should have waited at least 30-days to insure the mortgage dropped. Because they didn’t wait my rate was higher due to not making it to the next level in my credit score. I was told they could run it through again but wouldn’t do it until the week of November 14. They also mentioned that the rates would most likely increase after the election. A week or so passed and I saw a jump in my scores on two free credit score sites. I called them and told them what I saw. I wanted them to run the credit right then to get the rate but they said we already agreed on week of November 14. The manager called and persuaded me to wait until the week of November 14th since she didn’t think the rates would go up until December. So I wait and now the rates have bumped up. The credit check was done yesterday but I haven’t heard back from them yet (I probably will have to call them). Having pulled my credit too soon after selling the old house makes me feel as though they are incompetent. I also can’t believe they didn’t see that my old mortgage hadn’t been removed before sending to underwriting. I feel I’m dealing with an incompetent lender or a dishonest one. Do I have any repercussions on their incompetence/dishonesty if they come back with a higher rate? I’d even accept the 4.125 now but it really should have been lower had they done their job correctly. Why do I have to police everything they do?

  145. Betsy Scala December 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm -

    Hi Colin:

    I was told my someone I trust who has purchased 7 homes over the years as B&B that she got taken advantage of a mortgage lender who gave her a low rate and then three days before the closing he upped her rate by 2%. She told me that mortgage lender do this all of the time and suggested I go with a credit Union. The problem is I am new to the state and took early retirement (I’m 56) it seems I don’t qualify. One exception is one credit union will agree to do my loan if I have good credit (I do) and worship in the area. So are these mortgage lenders nothing but a scam like she said? I already signed papers with the seller for a condo but have yet to meet with the lender. No assessment has been done and it won’t happen for at least two weeks. I checked with other banks and their interest rates seem to be ridiculous.

  146. Jake December 9, 2016 at 7:41 am -

    I started escrow November 1st Ann’s signed loan documents shortly after via esign. The rate said 4.0%. I was pushing to lock rate before election and she told me it can’t happen until after appraisal. Appraisal was completed on the 14th. By dragging her feet and through many phone calls from me she then changed her answer to can not lock rate until after I’m 100% qualified. She now called me and said that I’m 100% qualified but now a month and a half later I can lock my rate at 4.5%. What is this all about? It seems like a racket.

  147. Colin Robertson December 9, 2016 at 10:02 am -


    Like any other business there are bad players and irresponsbile people who can overcharge and/or mess up your loan, thereby causing fees to go up if they don’t lock in time, etc. You just have to vet them like you would any other business, and get everything in writing to ensure you aren’t bait and switched. Good luck!

  148. Kem December 13, 2016 at 5:01 pm -

    Hi colin. I currently have a 5/1 arm with 3 years left on it @ 3.125%. I have some equity and want to eliminate my PMI so I am in the process of a refi to conventional. Lender offering 4.5% or a buy down to 4.375% for conventional loan. This will reduce my monthly mortgage by about $150 – $175 (including taxes and insc). While not a lot of savings, I have concerns rates will rise dramatically so want to lock now? Do you think it’s worth it?

  149. Colin Robertson December 14, 2016 at 12:07 pm -


    $150-175 per month is nothing to sneeze at for most people. Have you shopped around elsewhere to see if you can get a better rate or that same 4.375% without having to pay for it? Not sure rates will rise dramatically…again, seeing that they’ve already jumped a lot, in fact, it’s possible they could improve at some point.

  150. Ruth Rogow December 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm -

    August 4, 2016 I applied to refinance my 3 properties. The process was delayed because they made a mistake on the type of appraisal to get for one property. Finally, Oct 4 we went ahead with the closing of the other two.
    It took them months to order another appraisal and get the refi in order. Now they have increased the fees x7 and increased the rate.
    They have declined to honor the original rate or quoted fees.
    This company is so very dysfunctional. I have had to deal with at least a dozen different people.
    What can I do about this?
    In addition, though it is a FM loan, no other company was able to qualify me. Did they fudge my numbers?

  151. Colin Robertson December 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm -


    Hard to say without knowing all the details. Some lenders may deny a loan another will accept, even if Fannie is okay with it due to things like overlays and lender risk appetite, etc. As for the fees and rate, again hard to say without knowing what increased and why. The rate probably went up because rates have surged in the past month or two.

  152. Tricia December 27, 2016 at 9:23 am -

    What is the rule on a 12 day lock expiration letter?

    Do you send an additional one even though the rate has been extended?

    This might just be a New York rule but I could use clarification.


  153. Kim ortiz December 28, 2016 at 7:51 am -

    I locked in a rate that is to expired 12/29/16 when my contract is to close. There was a problem with the septic tank on the house that didn’t let it pass an inspection. So no fault on my part. The new closing date is two months from now due to having to have a new septic being installed. The lender said I would have to pay a fee to break the lock. I was not aware of this and this was not communicated to me during
    The process. Can I change lender and if so, am I obligated to Pay the lender any fees?

  154. Colin Robertson December 28, 2016 at 8:13 am -


    Is it the seller’s fault, or is it just one of those unexpected events? Unfortunately, lenders can’t keep your rate locked forever, especially when they’ve increased since you locked. But they should make it very clear upfront that there’s a fee if you break your lock. Might want to review the rate lock form and/or see if you can work things out with all parties to avoid any unnecessary fees. It could just be a non-refundable application fee that you lose, perhaps in the form of an appraisal you paid for. But if a new lender can get you a lower rate it might be beneficial to move on and eat the cost.

  155. Kim ortiz December 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm -

    The seller knew the septic tank is old and needed repairs. They had it repaired but it didn’t pass.

  156. Glenn Banks February 9, 2017 at 8:31 am -

    We received an initial LE for a VA Refi/Cashout and gave our intent to proceed. One week later, they fired the original loan officer after noticing that he charged us .5% instead of 3.3% on the VA funding fee. The next LO (Senior Vice President) stated that we had to pay the difference, which was over $10,000. After a few weeks of discussion, the lending institution agreed to honor the error with a credit, however, they upped our unlocked interest rate from 3.75% to 4.75%, even though the rates have dropped below 3.75% in the last two weeks. Can they just up the interest rate to whatever they want in order to cover their zero tolerance mistake?

  157. Colin Robertson February 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm -


    Sounds like a mess. Are they really paying the difference if it’s being absorbed by you via a higher mortgage rate, especially if rates didn’t increase and in fact dropped?

  158. Ike March 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm -

    Just working on buying a new house but am torn between the 180 day lock and 90 days. Looking at the current market trend what would u recommend. Thanks

  159. Colin Robertson March 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm -


    It depends on how much time you need – will it takes 180 days to close or just 90? Also compare pricing on both locks and upside/downside. Generally, rates are expected to hover in their current range this year, but you never know.

  160. Nuri Bayram March 14, 2017 at 10:17 am -

    Hi Colin,
    I made a contract with a builder and my house is being built now. My estimated closing is on June 27th.
    One lender offered me 4.125% rate and 3 month free lock which will end on June 10th. After that date , they will charge 60 $ per day lock extension fee.
    The main reason to apply this lender is , he told me I can pay PMI as low as 107 but after application , PMI shown 188.5 .
    He said it is because of my 2nd lien .(car) , my CLTV is passing 100%.
    I hope my explanation is clear.
    Should I accept his offer or wait for FED`s decision ?
    If I pay my cars loan by half , do you think I can decrease my PMI.
    FHA or Conventional or 10/1 ARM is more logical?
    Thank you very much.

  161. Colin Robertson March 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm -


    You have a lot of questions but paying $60 per day for 17 days is over $1,000. There might be a lender out there with similar pricing willing to offer a 90-day lock that won’t require additional extensions. Maybe paying off your car could lower the LTV to the point where PMI isn’t necessary, but make sure it’s enough to do so. Loan choice is entirely up to you and your risk appetite, plan with the property (how long you’ll keep it), if you like today’s rates, etc. Good luck.

  162. Lendee P March 23, 2017 at 2:49 pm -


    Under contract with a close on May 15th. To lock in today 3/23/17 is about $620. If I wait another 12 days, i’m on a different locking rate and price to lock would be $350.

    In your opinion, and taking into account the current market, would you lock now or wait the 12 days.

    Thank you!

  163. Colin Robertson March 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm -


    The million-dollar question…no one knows with any certainty what will happen tomorrow. We’ve had a good week or so in terms of rates, but that might change suddenly. If you’re happy with your rate, you need to ask yourself if $270 is worth stressing over for the next 12 days. That’s if it stresses you out, it might not. And you might save by waiting…either way it’s your call. Good luck!

  164. Dee March 30, 2017 at 11:05 am -

    Hi Colin, would love your two cents. I’m purchasing through a HomePlus program and I was told a week ago that my rate was “locked” which I have in writing. Then I get a surprise in the Loan Estimate with a higher interest rate. The Lender is now taking responsibility for their mistake – they never did lock the loan – but because it’s a govt program, they say the rate “is what it is.” I close in 2 weeks and will lose the property if I went with another lender so late in the game (market is tight where I am). What is an appropriate concession for this .25% rate hike/mistake that the lender made? They’re offering to pay the mortgage insurance. Is that a good concession? It serves as a disincentive for me to pay off the balance earlier (which I thought I might do). They say MI will drop off in 10 years.

    Thank you!

  165. Colin Robertson April 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm -


    You’ll have to do the math to see if the higher rate is being offset enough by the mortgage insurance concession. You can always push for more (maybe an .125% better in rate to meet in the middle) and try to negotiate, depending on what the mistake was and how accountable they should be for it.

  166. Lyne April 4, 2017 at 10:15 am -

    Hello Collin!

    We are offered an interest rate of 4.375 for a conventional 30 years fixed loan. Our house would be finished August 31/2017… The lender told us that we need to pay for extension to lock the mortgage rate. I want to know your prediction … will that rate go up or down significantly?

  167. Colin Robertson April 4, 2017 at 11:17 am -


    In my 2017 prediction post I said rates would pull back, then rise and close 2017 higher.

    However, it could be a bumpy 2017, with rates seesawing up and down all along the way. The question is could you get caught out in a bad month, or luck out and get a low rate in a particularly good month if you just wait to lock. Or will rates just do very little and remain unchanged, thereby making it cheaper to wait and do a shorter-term lock? No one knows for sure but locking way in advance is likely locking in a higher cost to lock.

  168. Basil April 20, 2017 at 10:10 am -

    Hello Colin,
    I locked in a 4.375% rate yesterday with a signed Float/Lock Agreement document. Can i tell my loan officer i want to unlock the already locked rate since rates are lower today and my closing is in 30 days?

  169. Colin Robertson April 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm -


    If you locked you can’t unlock if rates go down, otherwise it wouldn’t make any sense to lock in the first place.

  170. Maria May 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm -

    Hello Colin – I’ll try to make this short. I applied for a jumbo cash out refinance, 30 year fixed. The interest rate provided by the lender is 4.125. Both the loan application and the loan estimate, both populated by the lender quote 4.125. A couple of days ago, I received an email from the lender asking if I wanted to lock this rate and if so, I need to respond by 3pm. I did reply and said, “Yes, please lock the rate.” I received a follow up email from my lender stating he made a huge error and the rate is 4.5. Can I hold him to the 4.125?

  171. Ron August 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm -


    My 30 day rate lock expired and my broker Relocked my loan for 30 days because it was cheaper than getting a 30 day extension. My Relock is about to expire. What are my options? Can I get an extension to the Relock? How does pricing work with that scenario? If not, do I have to get a new mortgage.

    Thanks for your time.

  172. Colin Robertson August 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm -


    It depends what their re-lock policy is and what rates are like now vs. when you originally locked…it sounds like they took care of you once, not sure they’ll be able to do that again, at least not on the house. But you’ll have to ask why it’s being extended, because of you or because of the lender. If it’s the lender’s fault for the delay, they should try to accommodate you, if it’s you, well, you may have to pay a bit or face worse-case pricing. Generally it’s an .125% of the loan amount cost to extend for a week longer. The good news is if rates haven’t changed or worsened since you locked, they might be able to extend it for free.

  173. Louise November 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm -

    we are in the process of buying a house. The homeowner/seller is a real estate agent. She and her sister inherited the house from their Mother. The Seller bought out her sister but never had a quick claim deed. She is currently trying to find her estranged sister, this is causing a delay in the closing rate beyond our locked in rate. Would it be unreasonable to ask the seller to pay the additional cost of a 15 day extension?
    She is a licensed agent and should have disclosed that she did not have a quick claim deed to provide to the title company.

  174. Colin Robertson November 14, 2017 at 9:03 am -


    It’s perhaps reasonable, but whether they agree and will compensate you is another story. Ideally, your real estate agent can work out a deal where you aren’t on the hook for any extra costs as a result of their delay.

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