Ask Kate! How to Lock a Mortgage Rate

By Laura from Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Ask Kate: How do I lock a mortgage rate?

Hi Kate, I am searching for a home and have not yet found one to put in an offer. I have seen the rates go up and down the last two months and wonder when could I lock in a rate? Do I have to have a contract offer in order to get and lock a rate?

Kate Answers: Here's how to lock a mortgage rate.

Dear Laura,

Locking an interest rate, what a great mortgage question! In fact, the first step to locking is knowing what to ask.


It certainly makes sense to me that home buyers want the security of a mortgage rate lock while they are house shopping.

A lock while you shop program is attractive, especially to get the best mortgage rate while they are so low.

Interest rates are not predictable so don't miss my mortgage rate lock guarantee I gave to my each of my clients before I retired.

Working at different mortgage companies and especially as a mortgage broker, I never stopped being amazed at the different spins lenders put on locking a mortgage rate.

So to answer your question - It is very important to ask each lender how they treat a mortgage rate lock.

My friend Robin discovered a little too late that there was a better way to choose a lender. It wasn't her fault. They don't teach this stuff in school.

So, I'm sharing this secret that I learned from 20 years in mortgage lending with you.

Knowing what to ask is the first step to getting it.

Here are questions to ask for low mortgage payments, mortgage rate locks, and more! Qualify your lender before your lender qualifies you! Happy home shopping.

Best wishes and good luck,


Recent Articles

  1. Lock Mortgage Rates - How To Avoid Hidden Fees

    Aug 06, 18 11:58 AM

    If you lock mortgage rates over the phone, how do you protect against excessive points and hidden closing costs? Learn what to do when your lock is threatened.

    Read More

  2. Finding Low Down Payment Mortgage Financing

    Aug 06, 18 11:53 AM

    Getting a low down payment mortgage: Learn the first two steps to financing niche properties in resort areas. Tip: It's not about timing the real estate market!

    Read More

  3. Ten Best Kept Secrets to Low Mortgage Payments

    Aug 06, 18 11:45 AM

    Ask Kate's secrets to low mortgage payments help homeowners understand industry lingo related to refinancing. Learn how to get your best mortgage rate!

    Read More