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My GFE has an interest rate lock time period. Does this mean the interest rate is locked in?

No. Your Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is not the same as a rate lock agreement. Just because the GFE has information about the rate lock period does not mean that your interest rate is locked.

Item number 3 in the “Important Dates” section of your GFE tells you how long you have, after you lock your interest rate, to close on your home and your loan. This time between locking your rate and closing is known as the rate-lock period.

To actually lock your interest rate, you must confirm that you intend to lock-in your interest rate with your lender. You’ll then most likely have to sign a rate lock agreement. If you submit a loan application without a rate lock agreement, your interest rate is usually referred to as “floating.” This means your rate could change until it is locked.

Rate-locks expire at the end of the rate-lock period. Rate-lock periods vary in length, but are usually 30-60 days. If your loan doesn’t close before the rate-lock expires, your rate can change. You may be able to receive an extension on your rate-lock. You may also choose to let your rate expire and re-lock a new rate. Keep in mind that you might be charged fees for either an extension or a re-lock. There will also probably be specific rules that will apply.

Tip: Make sure you know the expiration date of your rate lock agreement and understand any fees you might have to pay to extend or re-lock the interest rate.

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