Mortgage Rates

March 6, 2015 03:01 PM Eastern

Refinance rates now in Woodbridge, NJ[Change this]

?
Home Price (Purchase)
When you get a mortgage to purchase a home, the lender uses the lower of the agreed-upon purchase price or the property's appraised value to determine your maximum loan amount. The loan amount divided by the property home price equals your loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. That ratio is one of the major factors that lenders use to set your mortgage rate. If your LTV exceeds 80 percent, you'll probably be required to pay mortgage insurance, which increases your monthly payment. If the property appraises for less than the agreed-on purchase price, you are not usually required to complete the purchase.
?
Home Value (Refinance)
This is your estimate of the current value of your property. When you refinance, your home is almost always evaluated by a licensed appraiser. The refinance loan amount divided by the property's appraised value equals your loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and that number is one of the major factors that determine your mortgage rate. To get an accurate refinance rate quote, your home value estimate must be reasonably accurate.
?
Down Payment
The down payment is the amount you pay upfront when you finance property. Your purchase price minus your down payment equals your mortgage amount. The higher your down payment, the more likely you are to be approved for a home loan. If your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price, you'll probably be required to pay for mortgage insurance, which increases your monthly payment.
?
Credit Score
Your credit score is a number designed to measure your credit-worthiness. It's based on a formula that combines many factors, including your payment history, amount of credit used and number of accounts. This number is used by lenders to calculate the probability that you'll default on your mortgage. Most lenders won't approve mortgages to applicants with credit scores lower than 620. Your credit score is one of the most important factors that determines your mortgage rate - applicants with higher scores are offered better mortgage rates.

FHA 30 Year Fixed Rates as low as

Interest Rate
3.250%
APR
4.176%
Monthly Payment
$1,005
Sebonic Financial
Interest Rate
3.250%
APR
4.176%
Monthly Payment
$1,005
(866) 544-4064 Contact
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $871
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $134
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,005
Lender Fees $5,182
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $5,182
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

About the Lender

Sebonic Financial is a division of Cardinal Financial Company, a full service mortgage banking firm in operation since 1987.  The company is an approved seller/servicer for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Cardinal is also an approved lending institution for the Department of Housing and Urban Development/Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs/Veterans Administration with FHAs Direct Endorsement and VA Automatic Lender Authority.  Cardinal is an authorized lender for the USDA/Rural Housing Program, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Mortgage Housing Finance Agency.

 

Cardinal is licensed by the Departments of Banking in many states, mainly in the eastern and southeastern United States.  Its retail and wholesale divisions originate first mortgage loans for qualified borrowers.

Sebonic Financial
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Low rates, low closing costs

Yes, I recommend this lender

I chose to do our refinance with Sebonic because of the positive reviews on lendingtree, low interest rates and a lender credit that would reduce our closing costs. We began the process in mid-January and everything went smoothly in the beginning. I completed their online application, submitted our financial documentation (pay stubs, bank statements...) and we paid for and completed our appraisal. After Sebonic received our documentation and the appraisal, the process bogged down. I was told the underwriters were behind schedule about 3 or 5 days. I had to follow up several times with various people in different departments to find out the status of our refinance. It was difficult to know who to talk to about our loan status. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and professional. Our 30 day rate lock expired and was extended by 7 days for free. I contacted Sebonic and found out that the underwriter had completed a conditional approval. I spoke to our final processor who said that she was just waiting for some IRS tax transcripts. A few days later our extended rate lock was about to expire and to extend it for 7 more days we would have to pay $466. I had to reach out to the mortgage broker to confirm that we didn't have to pay this fee. This fee should have been waived automatically. Then we got an updated good faith estimate but lender credit ($480) was less than what was initially promised ($950). I again had to contact the mortgage broker to make sure we were getting the promised lender credit. We were finally able to close and we signed the closing papers 39 days after we started this process. We are happy with the interest rate, closing costs and lender credit. When I spoke to Sebonic everyone was professional and polite. I just wish that someone at Sebonic was staying on top of things and coordinating our loan rather than me following up several times to find out what was going on. I also wish they were more upfront about the delays.

By: srs570788 (Southern California)

A ok

Yes, I recommend this lender

A ok!

By: SgtGitRDone (Katy, Texas)

Great for the uncomplicated borrower.

Yes, I recommend this lender

Although I was unable to consummate the loan process, for reasons I'll explain, they tried to get it approved. Even though I earn a significant 6 figure salary, I am paid buy my corporation who is paid by my law firm. The earnings being completely distributed each year yielded 0 income. Their underwriters could not wrap their head around that. Bottom Line, If you are not in that situation it should be a short and easy process. If you are, then let them know ahead of time so they can be upfront. Otherwise they are very well organized and do their best to find you the best rates.

By: jjhuckleberry (53125)
See All Reviews
Capital One
Interest Rate
3.625%
APR
3.811%
Monthly Payment
$913
(844) 326-5399 Contact
Capital One
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 60 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $913
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $913
Lender Fees $4,512
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $4,512
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Capital One
Email Lender

About the Lender

You can expect better with Capital One. Whether you need help with refinancing, a new home purchase, debt consolidation, or financing home improvements, your idea of better likely starts with savings—we maximize your savings with competitive rates and lower than average closing costs. But savings is only the start. We also strive to provide a better loan process—one that’s totally clear right from the start, with no hidden fees or unexpected surprises along the way. You can expect better service too—you’ll have a responsive team of dedicated mortgage specialists assigned and available to you every day, each member trained to anticipate and able to take care of all your needs.
Total Mortgage Services
Interest Rate
3.625%
APR
3.789%
Monthly Payment
$912
(844) 334-6186 Contact
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $912
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $912
Lender Fees $4,000
Lender Credit $1,610
Total Closing Fees* $2,390
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

About the Lender

Since 1997, Total Mortgage Services has been committed to making mortgages easier.  We combine the personal service and integrity of a local lender with the same low rates and wide variety of programs that you would expect from a big bank.  Total Mortgage is licensed in 32 states plus Washington, DC, and offers conventional, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, FHA 203K, USDA, condo, and co-op mortgages, among others.  We’re a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer, as well as a Ginnie Mae Issuer, we have access to some of the best rates and programs in the country.  Because we are smaller and more nimble than the big banks, we’re able to close most of our loans in 30 days or less.  We’re experts in mortgages because mortgages are all we do.

 

Total Mortgage believes strongly in responsible lending.  We want to help you attain financing that you can afford – today, tomorrow, and over the life of the loan.  We understand that you’re not just looking for a home, but a trusted financial partner to help you realize your dream of homeownership.  Total Mortgage believes you deserve a loan that is as individual as you are.

 

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a customer service satisfaction rate over 95%, we stand firmly behind our product and service and feel confident that if you use us for your home loan, you will recommend us to your friends and family.  This dedication allowed us to be named to the Inc 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years.  We want the opportunity to earn your business, we want to be your lender for life.

Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Total Mortgage Services

Yes, I recommend this lender

I have done over 10 loans with Total Mortgage and have referred all my family and friends. They do everything under one roof, processing, Underwriting and their closing department is all in one building! This made all my transactions flawless. If I could give them a 1000 start rating I would. Tremendous tremendous company!

By: Jason (New Jersey)
See All Reviews

15YearFixed Rates as low as

Interest Rate
2.750%
APR
2.988%
Monthly Payment
$1,357
Total Mortgage Services
Interest Rate
2.750%
APR
2.988%
Monthly Payment
$1,357
(844) 334-6186 Contact
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $1,357
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,357
Lender Fees $3,530
Lender Credit $64
Total Closing Fees* $3,466
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

About the Lender

Since 1997, Total Mortgage Services has been committed to making mortgages easier.  We combine the personal service and integrity of a local lender with the same low rates and wide variety of programs that you would expect from a big bank.  Total Mortgage is licensed in 32 states plus Washington, DC, and offers conventional, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, FHA 203K, USDA, condo, and co-op mortgages, among others.  We’re a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer, as well as a Ginnie Mae Issuer, we have access to some of the best rates and programs in the country.  Because we are smaller and more nimble than the big banks, we’re able to close most of our loans in 30 days or less.  We’re experts in mortgages because mortgages are all we do.

 

Total Mortgage believes strongly in responsible lending.  We want to help you attain financing that you can afford – today, tomorrow, and over the life of the loan.  We understand that you’re not just looking for a home, but a trusted financial partner to help you realize your dream of homeownership.  Total Mortgage believes you deserve a loan that is as individual as you are.

 

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a customer service satisfaction rate over 95%, we stand firmly behind our product and service and feel confident that if you use us for your home loan, you will recommend us to your friends and family.  This dedication allowed us to be named to the Inc 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years.  We want the opportunity to earn your business, we want to be your lender for life.

Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Total Mortgage Services

Yes, I recommend this lender

I have done over 10 loans with Total Mortgage and have referred all my family and friends. They do everything under one roof, processing, Underwriting and their closing department is all in one building! This made all my transactions flawless. If I could give them a 1000 start rating I would. Tremendous tremendous company!

By: Jason (New Jersey)
See All Reviews
Total Mortgage Services
Interest Rate
2.750%
APR
3.039%
Monthly Payment
$1,357
(844) 334-6186 Contact
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $1,357
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,357
Lender Fees $4,000
Lender Credit $2,064
Total Closing Fees* $1,936
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

About the Lender

Since 1997, Total Mortgage Services has been committed to making mortgages easier.  We combine the personal service and integrity of a local lender with the same low rates and wide variety of programs that you would expect from a big bank.  Total Mortgage is licensed in 32 states plus Washington, DC, and offers conventional, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, FHA 203K, USDA, condo, and co-op mortgages, among others.  We’re a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer, as well as a Ginnie Mae Issuer, we have access to some of the best rates and programs in the country.  Because we are smaller and more nimble than the big banks, we’re able to close most of our loans in 30 days or less.  We’re experts in mortgages because mortgages are all we do.

 

Total Mortgage believes strongly in responsible lending.  We want to help you attain financing that you can afford – today, tomorrow, and over the life of the loan.  We understand that you’re not just looking for a home, but a trusted financial partner to help you realize your dream of homeownership.  Total Mortgage believes you deserve a loan that is as individual as you are.

 

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a customer service satisfaction rate over 95%, we stand firmly behind our product and service and feel confident that if you use us for your home loan, you will recommend us to your friends and family.  This dedication allowed us to be named to the Inc 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years.  We want the opportunity to earn your business, we want to be your lender for life.

Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Total Mortgage Services

Yes, I recommend this lender

I have done over 10 loans with Total Mortgage and have referred all my family and friends. They do everything under one roof, processing, Underwriting and their closing department is all in one building! This made all my transactions flawless. If I could give them a 1000 start rating I would. Tremendous tremendous company!

By: Jason (New Jersey)
See All Reviews
Sebonic Financial
Interest Rate
3.000%
APR
3.144%
Monthly Payment
$1,382
(866) 544-4064 Contact
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $1,382
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,382
Lender Fees $1,988
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $1,988
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

About the Lender

Sebonic Financial is a division of Cardinal Financial Company, a full service mortgage banking firm in operation since 1987.  The company is an approved seller/servicer for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Cardinal is also an approved lending institution for the Department of Housing and Urban Development/Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs/Veterans Administration with FHAs Direct Endorsement and VA Automatic Lender Authority.  Cardinal is an authorized lender for the USDA/Rural Housing Program, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Mortgage Housing Finance Agency.

 

Cardinal is licensed by the Departments of Banking in many states, mainly in the eastern and southeastern United States.  Its retail and wholesale divisions originate first mortgage loans for qualified borrowers.

Sebonic Financial
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Low rates, low closing costs

Yes, I recommend this lender

I chose to do our refinance with Sebonic because of the positive reviews on lendingtree, low interest rates and a lender credit that would reduce our closing costs. We began the process in mid-January and everything went smoothly in the beginning. I completed their online application, submitted our financial documentation (pay stubs, bank statements...) and we paid for and completed our appraisal. After Sebonic received our documentation and the appraisal, the process bogged down. I was told the underwriters were behind schedule about 3 or 5 days. I had to follow up several times with various people in different departments to find out the status of our refinance. It was difficult to know who to talk to about our loan status. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and professional. Our 30 day rate lock expired and was extended by 7 days for free. I contacted Sebonic and found out that the underwriter had completed a conditional approval. I spoke to our final processor who said that she was just waiting for some IRS tax transcripts. A few days later our extended rate lock was about to expire and to extend it for 7 more days we would have to pay $466. I had to reach out to the mortgage broker to confirm that we didn't have to pay this fee. This fee should have been waived automatically. Then we got an updated good faith estimate but lender credit ($480) was less than what was initially promised ($950). I again had to contact the mortgage broker to make sure we were getting the promised lender credit. We were finally able to close and we signed the closing papers 39 days after we started this process. We are happy with the interest rate, closing costs and lender credit. When I spoke to Sebonic everyone was professional and polite. I just wish that someone at Sebonic was staying on top of things and coordinating our loan rather than me following up several times to find out what was going on. I also wish they were more upfront about the delays.

By: srs570788 (Southern California)

A ok

Yes, I recommend this lender

A ok!

By: SgtGitRDone (Katy, Texas)

Great for the uncomplicated borrower.

Yes, I recommend this lender

Although I was unable to consummate the loan process, for reasons I'll explain, they tried to get it approved. Even though I earn a significant 6 figure salary, I am paid buy my corporation who is paid by my law firm. The earnings being completely distributed each year yielded 0 income. Their underwriters could not wrap their head around that. Bottom Line, If you are not in that situation it should be a short and easy process. If you are, then let them know ahead of time so they can be upfront. Otherwise they are very well organized and do their best to find you the best rates.

By: jjhuckleberry (53125)
See All Reviews

5YearARM Rates as low as

Interest Rate
2.500%
APR
2.984%
Monthly Payment
$790
Total Mortgage Services
Interest Rate
2.500%
APR
2.984%
Monthly Payment
$790
(844) 334-6186 Contact
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $790
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $790
Lender Fees $5,320
Lender Credit $274
Total Closing Fees* $5,046
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender

About the Lender

Since 1997, Total Mortgage Services has been committed to making mortgages easier.  We combine the personal service and integrity of a local lender with the same low rates and wide variety of programs that you would expect from a big bank.  Total Mortgage is licensed in 32 states plus Washington, DC, and offers conventional, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, FHA 203K, USDA, condo, and co-op mortgages, among others.  We’re a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer, as well as a Ginnie Mae Issuer, we have access to some of the best rates and programs in the country.  Because we are smaller and more nimble than the big banks, we’re able to close most of our loans in 30 days or less.  We’re experts in mortgages because mortgages are all we do.

 

Total Mortgage believes strongly in responsible lending.  We want to help you attain financing that you can afford – today, tomorrow, and over the life of the loan.  We understand that you’re not just looking for a home, but a trusted financial partner to help you realize your dream of homeownership.  Total Mortgage believes you deserve a loan that is as individual as you are.

 

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a customer service satisfaction rate over 95%, we stand firmly behind our product and service and feel confident that if you use us for your home loan, you will recommend us to your friends and family.  This dedication allowed us to be named to the Inc 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years.  We want the opportunity to earn your business, we want to be your lender for life.

Total Mortgage Services
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Total Mortgage Services

Yes, I recommend this lender

I have done over 10 loans with Total Mortgage and have referred all my family and friends. They do everything under one roof, processing, Underwriting and their closing department is all in one building! This made all my transactions flawless. If I could give them a 1000 start rating I would. Tremendous tremendous company!

By: Jason (New Jersey)
See All Reviews
Sebonic Financial
Interest Rate
2.750%
APR
2.988%
Monthly Payment
$817
(866) 544-4064 Contact
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 30 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $817
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $817
Lender Fees $2,628
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $2,628
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Sebonic Financial
Email Lender

About the Lender

Sebonic Financial is a division of Cardinal Financial Company, a full service mortgage banking firm in operation since 1987.  The company is an approved seller/servicer for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Cardinal is also an approved lending institution for the Department of Housing and Urban Development/Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs/Veterans Administration with FHAs Direct Endorsement and VA Automatic Lender Authority.  Cardinal is an authorized lender for the USDA/Rural Housing Program, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Mortgage Housing Finance Agency.

 

Cardinal is licensed by the Departments of Banking in many states, mainly in the eastern and southeastern United States.  Its retail and wholesale divisions originate first mortgage loans for qualified borrowers.

Sebonic Financial
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Low rates, low closing costs

Yes, I recommend this lender

I chose to do our refinance with Sebonic because of the positive reviews on lendingtree, low interest rates and a lender credit that would reduce our closing costs. We began the process in mid-January and everything went smoothly in the beginning. I completed their online application, submitted our financial documentation (pay stubs, bank statements...) and we paid for and completed our appraisal. After Sebonic received our documentation and the appraisal, the process bogged down. I was told the underwriters were behind schedule about 3 or 5 days. I had to follow up several times with various people in different departments to find out the status of our refinance. It was difficult to know who to talk to about our loan status. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and professional. Our 30 day rate lock expired and was extended by 7 days for free. I contacted Sebonic and found out that the underwriter had completed a conditional approval. I spoke to our final processor who said that she was just waiting for some IRS tax transcripts. A few days later our extended rate lock was about to expire and to extend it for 7 more days we would have to pay $466. I had to reach out to the mortgage broker to confirm that we didn't have to pay this fee. This fee should have been waived automatically. Then we got an updated good faith estimate but lender credit ($480) was less than what was initially promised ($950). I again had to contact the mortgage broker to make sure we were getting the promised lender credit. We were finally able to close and we signed the closing papers 39 days after we started this process. We are happy with the interest rate, closing costs and lender credit. When I spoke to Sebonic everyone was professional and polite. I just wish that someone at Sebonic was staying on top of things and coordinating our loan rather than me following up several times to find out what was going on. I also wish they were more upfront about the delays.

By: srs570788 (Southern California)

A ok

Yes, I recommend this lender

A ok!

By: SgtGitRDone (Katy, Texas)

Great for the uncomplicated borrower.

Yes, I recommend this lender

Although I was unable to consummate the loan process, for reasons I'll explain, they tried to get it approved. Even though I earn a significant 6 figure salary, I am paid buy my corporation who is paid by my law firm. The earnings being completely distributed each year yielded 0 income. Their underwriters could not wrap their head around that. Bottom Line, If you are not in that situation it should be a short and easy process. If you are, then let them know ahead of time so they can be upfront. Otherwise they are very well organized and do their best to find you the best rates.

By: jjhuckleberry (53125)
See All Reviews
Capital One
Interest Rate
2.750%
APR
3.023%
Monthly Payment
$817
(844) 326-5399 Contact
Capital One
Email Lender

Offer Details

Home Value $250,000
Requested Loan Amount $200,000
Lock Period 60 Days
Down Payment $50,000
Principal and Interest Payments $817
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $817
Lender Fees $3,512
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $3,512
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
Capital One
Email Lender

About the Lender

You can expect better with Capital One. Whether you need help with refinancing, a new home purchase, debt consolidation, or financing home improvements, your idea of better likely starts with savings—we maximize your savings with competitive rates and lower than average closing costs. But savings is only the start. We also strive to provide a better loan process—one that’s totally clear right from the start, with no hidden fees or unexpected surprises along the way. You can expect better service too—you’ll have a responsive team of dedicated mortgage specialists assigned and available to you every day, each member trained to anticipate and able to take care of all your needs.
Mortgage rate quotes displayed on LendingTree LoanExplorer℠, including loan pricing data, rates and fees, are provided by third party data providers including, but not limited to, Mortech®, a registered trademark of Zillow®, LoanXEngine, a product of Mortgage Builder Software, Inc., and LoanTek, Inc.

Mortgage Rate Trends

Monthly | Daily

Mortgage Rate Lock Recommendation

March 3, 2015
  •   Lock if closing in 7 days:
    Rates are down
  •   Lock if closing in 15 days:
    Rates are down
  •   Lock if closing in 30 days:
    Rates are down
  •   Lock if closing in 45 days:
    Rates are down
  •   Lock if closing in 60 days:
    Rates are up

This is the only day this week that has no pertinent scheduled economic reports. Mortgage rates will largely be influenced by global events and the performance of our stock markets here at home. Currently, the yield on ten-year Treasuries has edged up again to 2.09 percent. Oil is up as well. On the flipside, however, all three major stock indexes are currently down.

CNNMoney's Fear & Greed index is hovering in "Greed" mode. Ity's backed off a bit from last week's "Extreme Greed" readong but is miles ahead of last month's "Extreme Fear" levels. Greed is not good when you're trying to lock a mortgage because investor optimism means more money pours into stock markets and out of bond markets.

Mortgage Rate Basics: Stocks Up, Rates Up

Yes, this is over-simplified for an economics class but it will do here. Interest rates typically rise when the economy is improving. A strengthening economy is a good sign when coming out of a recession or slowdown, but it also triggers concerns about inflation. When investors worry about inflation, bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) become about as popular as paparazzi at an AA meeting.

It makes sense. If you have a bond that pays a four percent interest rate, you'd pay $1,000 for it and get a check for $40 every year. That four percent is called the "coupon rate." The amount of interest you receive each year divided by the amount you pay for the bond gives you the "yield." So $40/$1000 = 4.0 percent. When the yield is equal to the coupon rate, the price you paid for that bond is called "par."

The Stock and Bond Two-step

However, investors buy and sell bonds all the time and often do not get par pricing. When the economy is in bad shape, many investors (like institutions and pension funds in addition to individuals) shun the stock markets in favor of bonds. They just want to park their money somewhere safe until they are comfortable investing more aggressively. The idea isn't to make a pile of money; it's to keep from losing money. So these investors bid up the price of bonds -- it's just supply and demand. And when you pay more for a bond, while getting the same check each year, you're getting a lower yield. So if four percent bonds are now selling for $1,250, the yield becomes 3.2 percent ($40 / $1,250).

And if investors are optimistic about markets, they dump their bonds and hop back into equities. If four percent bonds get unpopular and start selling for $750, their yields increase to 5.3 percent ($40 / $750). That's how rising stock prices cause interest rates to rise, and that's why you need to pay attention to the economy when you're floating a mortgage rate.

What Does it Mean to "Lock" Your Mortgage?

"Locking" your mortgage means that you and your lender have agreed on an interest rate and price for your home loan. Once your loan is locked, that's the rate and price you get, regardless of what happens in the financial markets. If rates go up, you're protected but if rates go down, you won't benefit either -- you close your loan at the rate you've locked and you can’t change it. Locks have expiration dates ranging from 30 to 60 days or more, and the longer your lock period, the more it costs. If you don't close your loan on time, you could end up paying a higher interest rate.

When Should You Lock?

You can lock in your loan at any time during the process. Until you lock your interest rate, you are said to be "floating" your mortgage. The only rule is that you have to lock in before you can close on your purchase or refinance.

The decision to lock or float your loan can have a long term impact so it’s important you make the right choice. That’s why we offer a quick rundown of the key factors that drive mortgage rates today and everything you need to know.

22M
users have refinanced
using LendingTree.
Get free personalized mortgage rates in minutes:

Mortgage Rates by State

Mortgage rates can vary a lot between lenders on any given day. So, if you only get one mortgage quote, you won't have any idea if there's a better deal out there. That's why the best way to get a mortgage rate it to request quotes from multiple lenders and compare interest rates, loan terms and closing costs. It puts you on in charge and keeps the banks competing to get you the best rate possible. Remember, even .1 percent can amount to thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Make sure you shop around!

Find Rates In Your State >
Map of the United States. CA NV NC VA WV KY CT CT SD CO NE ND WA OR ID MT WY UT AZ NM KS OK TX HI MN IA MO AR WI IL MS MI MI OH TN AL ME NH NH VT VT NY MA MA RI RI PA NJ MD NJ MD DE DE DC SC GA FL HI HI HI HI AK AK AK IN LA

More Mortgage Rate Types