Mortgage Rates

February 11, 2016 03:50 AM Eastern

Refinance rates now in Woodbridge, NJ[Change this]

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

30 Year Fixed

Interest Rate
3.250%
APR
3.348%
Monthly Payment
$871
eLEND
30 Year Fixed
Interest Rate
3.250%
APR
3.348%
Monthly Payment
$871
(855) 982-3216 Contact
eLEND
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 $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $871
Lender Fees $2,452
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $2,452
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
eLEND
Email Lender

About the Lender

eLEND provides residential mortgage financing directly to potential home buyers and existing homeowners through a robust online platform built to simplify the lending process. Our mortgage technology solutions help thousands of families every year achieve their home financing goals. We offer Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, and Renovation financing programs with exceptional rates and service. A division of American Financial Resources, Inc., eLEND is backed by over 18 years of industry success. Our expert Mortgage Loan Originators will help connect you with the ideal financing solution to achieve your specific goals. Contact us today for a free rate quote or e-Approval.
eLEND
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Wade

After giving them papers directly from the IRS , after having to show divorce papers from 14yrs. Ago, having to get an itemized list of whom was filled on my bankruptcy, let's see what else phone numbers of ex employer from two years ago not the same year, personal reference?????please tell me how showing papers off an old divorce is when relevant? What about a bankruptcy that is 8yrs. Old, is it going to end it's been since December 3, 2015

By: Keri (Gibsonton, FL)

very rude

Stephen Pullen contacted us and he was extremely rude. He kept interrupting me and talking over me. Completely uninterested in what our needs were. We tried back in October to use them and no call backs. Very poor customer service

By: karen (Hinesville, GA)

good

Yes, I recommend this lender

Good

By: Arlen (Mukilteo, WA)
See All Reviews
Sebonic Financial
30 Year Fixed
Interest Rate
3.250%
APR
3.406%
Monthly Payment
$871
(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 $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $871
Lender Fees $3,878
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $3,878
*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

Sebonic was quick, inexpensive and easy

Yes, I recommend this lender

After receiving what I perceived as poor service at Quicken I walked away from them the week of the scheduled closing and went with Sebonic. As far as I am concerned it was a great decision as I closed quickly with a slightly better rate and lower closing costs. James Dawkins was assigned to push my loan through and he was very responsive and helpful. For the closing they sent a notary to my home and with a little help from James everything was done in about 45 minutes. This was probably about my 20th loan / refi and the first that was done almost entirely via the internet. The internet added a few twists to the process but overall it was painless.

By: Andrew (Pinehurst, NC)

Avoid at all costs

Started our refi 3 months ago, and for the second time, no one showed up for our closing, with no call, email, anything!!! WORST experience ever! Would gladly have paid thousands more if I had known! Started with after waiting 2 weeks for the appraisal, the first appraiser having a "family emergency" so had to wait another 2 weeks for another appraiser. We felt bad for the first guy, so we understood. This is when we first started to notice emails and phone calls not being answered. The only time we could reach anyone was to call their customer service line, and they would corner our rep. And then we would get circle answers, and promises of answers that never came. Then a glitch in paperwork came up due to a discharged bankruptcy years ago. Offered to handle it with guidance and were told they would take care of it. That was that. We were then told we would close Friday or Saturday, after only 6 weeks... Great! They will call us. No call Thursday. Friday we call 3-4 times, email, no answer. Still waiting by the phone Saturday, called, emailed, still nothing. We called and emailed Monday... No answer. Finally Tuesday for a "manager" who advised our rep was our of town and would get back to us the next day. Finally heard from him 2 days after that, and many emails and calls, and the bk paperwork came back to bite us. We had to handle this now. So we are now on our FOURTH extension, discussing something that was originally discovers the first week and we were told was not a problem. Then our rep gets in an "accident" so we are now dealing with the manager. We Also find out we will have to file the FIFTH extension, which they will it pay for but costs us almost another $900! WE took care of that, to avoid having to wait for them. We told them that day it would be 2 weeks. We close that, and they have done NOTHING to get it moving again. They needed the paperwork. So we send that to them on Friday, during business hours, for the second time because the attorney sent it to them as well. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday we call and email. I get an email back again asking for that paperwork. I send it a third time, and am told great, should close Wednesday since everything else is "done." Wednesday keep emailing and calling, all day. Re sending paperwork they have, but at least it's moving. Then... Nothing! Call customer care at 5:00 and reach the officers manager again to be told all looks good, we will call you in the morning to close tomorrow, we requested 12:00, she assured us that should be doable. Once we heard fro The closer, they advise they can't do that, so we agree on 8 pm. Bat 6:30 I happen to check my email to find an email for the manager asking for current credit card statements, which ones were not listed though. Ok.... I'm on the road, so I ask her if which ones, and if it can wait until I get home. I specifically ask if this will effect our closing since this is so last minute. She sends me the list, no other replace sw. I send her 4 more emails in the next hour asking if we are closing... I call the main line, customer care, and every other number we can find all with no answers. I have the email confirming the closing for tonight at 8 pm, and here it is 11:30 and no show still. Yes, I know they won't be here, and I am still hoping for tomorrow, but I'm so me I know I can't sleep. Please, save yourself the stress, sleepless night and frustration and take your business elsewhere. We started this June 16 and STILL have not closed, and can not get an explanation why.

By: Donna (Littleton, CO)

Owner

Yes, I recommend this lender

Overall experience was one of complete pleasure. Any delay in the process was caused by me and at that, it was only a month.

By: Haydee (Marietta, GA)
See All Reviews

15 Year Fixed

Interest Rate
2.375%
APR
2.593%
Monthly Payment
$1,322
eLEND
15 Year Fixed
Interest Rate
2.375%
APR
2.593%
Monthly Payment
$1,322
(855) 982-3216 Contact
eLEND
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 $1,322
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,322
Lender Fees $3,059
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $3,059
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
eLEND
Email Lender

About the Lender

eLEND provides residential mortgage financing directly to potential home buyers and existing homeowners through a robust online platform built to simplify the lending process. Our mortgage technology solutions help thousands of families every year achieve their home financing goals. We offer Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, and Renovation financing programs with exceptional rates and service. A division of American Financial Resources, Inc., eLEND is backed by over 18 years of industry success. Our expert Mortgage Loan Originators will help connect you with the ideal financing solution to achieve your specific goals. Contact us today for a free rate quote or e-Approval.
eLEND
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Wade

After giving them papers directly from the IRS , after having to show divorce papers from 14yrs. Ago, having to get an itemized list of whom was filled on my bankruptcy, let's see what else phone numbers of ex employer from two years ago not the same year, personal reference?????please tell me how showing papers off an old divorce is when relevant? What about a bankruptcy that is 8yrs. Old, is it going to end it's been since December 3, 2015

By: Keri (Gibsonton, FL)

very rude

Stephen Pullen contacted us and he was extremely rude. He kept interrupting me and talking over me. Completely uninterested in what our needs were. We tried back in October to use them and no call backs. Very poor customer service

By: karen (Hinesville, GA)

good

Yes, I recommend this lender

Good

By: Arlen (Mukilteo, WA)
See All Reviews
Sebonic Financial
15 Year Fixed
Interest Rate
2.500%
APR
2.759%
Monthly Payment
$1,334
(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 $1,334
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,334
Lender Fees $3,613
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $3,613
*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

Sebonic was quick, inexpensive and easy

Yes, I recommend this lender

After receiving what I perceived as poor service at Quicken I walked away from them the week of the scheduled closing and went with Sebonic. As far as I am concerned it was a great decision as I closed quickly with a slightly better rate and lower closing costs. James Dawkins was assigned to push my loan through and he was very responsive and helpful. For the closing they sent a notary to my home and with a little help from James everything was done in about 45 minutes. This was probably about my 20th loan / refi and the first that was done almost entirely via the internet. The internet added a few twists to the process but overall it was painless.

By: Andrew (Pinehurst, NC)

Avoid at all costs

Started our refi 3 months ago, and for the second time, no one showed up for our closing, with no call, email, anything!!! WORST experience ever! Would gladly have paid thousands more if I had known! Started with after waiting 2 weeks for the appraisal, the first appraiser having a "family emergency" so had to wait another 2 weeks for another appraiser. We felt bad for the first guy, so we understood. This is when we first started to notice emails and phone calls not being answered. The only time we could reach anyone was to call their customer service line, and they would corner our rep. And then we would get circle answers, and promises of answers that never came. Then a glitch in paperwork came up due to a discharged bankruptcy years ago. Offered to handle it with guidance and were told they would take care of it. That was that. We were then told we would close Friday or Saturday, after only 6 weeks... Great! They will call us. No call Thursday. Friday we call 3-4 times, email, no answer. Still waiting by the phone Saturday, called, emailed, still nothing. We called and emailed Monday... No answer. Finally Tuesday for a "manager" who advised our rep was our of town and would get back to us the next day. Finally heard from him 2 days after that, and many emails and calls, and the bk paperwork came back to bite us. We had to handle this now. So we are now on our FOURTH extension, discussing something that was originally discovers the first week and we were told was not a problem. Then our rep gets in an "accident" so we are now dealing with the manager. We Also find out we will have to file the FIFTH extension, which they will it pay for but costs us almost another $900! WE took care of that, to avoid having to wait for them. We told them that day it would be 2 weeks. We close that, and they have done NOTHING to get it moving again. They needed the paperwork. So we send that to them on Friday, during business hours, for the second time because the attorney sent it to them as well. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday we call and email. I get an email back again asking for that paperwork. I send it a third time, and am told great, should close Wednesday since everything else is "done." Wednesday keep emailing and calling, all day. Re sending paperwork they have, but at least it's moving. Then... Nothing! Call customer care at 5:00 and reach the officers manager again to be told all looks good, we will call you in the morning to close tomorrow, we requested 12:00, she assured us that should be doable. Once we heard fro The closer, they advise they can't do that, so we agree on 8 pm. Bat 6:30 I happen to check my email to find an email for the manager asking for current credit card statements, which ones were not listed though. Ok.... I'm on the road, so I ask her if which ones, and if it can wait until I get home. I specifically ask if this will effect our closing since this is so last minute. She sends me the list, no other replace sw. I send her 4 more emails in the next hour asking if we are closing... I call the main line, customer care, and every other number we can find all with no answers. I have the email confirming the closing for tonight at 8 pm, and here it is 11:30 and no show still. Yes, I know they won't be here, and I am still hoping for tomorrow, but I'm so me I know I can't sleep. Please, save yourself the stress, sleepless night and frustration and take your business elsewhere. We started this June 16 and STILL have not closed, and can not get an explanation why.

By: Donna (Littleton, CO)

Owner

Yes, I recommend this lender

Overall experience was one of complete pleasure. Any delay in the process was caused by me and at that, it was only a month.

By: Haydee (Marietta, GA)
See All Reviews

5/1 ARM

Interest Rate
2.625%
APR
3.280%
Monthly Payment
$804
Sebonic Financial
5/1 ARM
Interest Rate
2.625%
APR
3.280%
Monthly Payment
$804
(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 $804
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $804
Lender Fees $2,715
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $2,715
*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

Sebonic was quick, inexpensive and easy

Yes, I recommend this lender

After receiving what I perceived as poor service at Quicken I walked away from them the week of the scheduled closing and went with Sebonic. As far as I am concerned it was a great decision as I closed quickly with a slightly better rate and lower closing costs. James Dawkins was assigned to push my loan through and he was very responsive and helpful. For the closing they sent a notary to my home and with a little help from James everything was done in about 45 minutes. This was probably about my 20th loan / refi and the first that was done almost entirely via the internet. The internet added a few twists to the process but overall it was painless.

By: Andrew (Pinehurst, NC)

Avoid at all costs

Started our refi 3 months ago, and for the second time, no one showed up for our closing, with no call, email, anything!!! WORST experience ever! Would gladly have paid thousands more if I had known! Started with after waiting 2 weeks for the appraisal, the first appraiser having a "family emergency" so had to wait another 2 weeks for another appraiser. We felt bad for the first guy, so we understood. This is when we first started to notice emails and phone calls not being answered. The only time we could reach anyone was to call their customer service line, and they would corner our rep. And then we would get circle answers, and promises of answers that never came. Then a glitch in paperwork came up due to a discharged bankruptcy years ago. Offered to handle it with guidance and were told they would take care of it. That was that. We were then told we would close Friday or Saturday, after only 6 weeks... Great! They will call us. No call Thursday. Friday we call 3-4 times, email, no answer. Still waiting by the phone Saturday, called, emailed, still nothing. We called and emailed Monday... No answer. Finally Tuesday for a "manager" who advised our rep was our of town and would get back to us the next day. Finally heard from him 2 days after that, and many emails and calls, and the bk paperwork came back to bite us. We had to handle this now. So we are now on our FOURTH extension, discussing something that was originally discovers the first week and we were told was not a problem. Then our rep gets in an "accident" so we are now dealing with the manager. We Also find out we will have to file the FIFTH extension, which they will it pay for but costs us almost another $900! WE took care of that, to avoid having to wait for them. We told them that day it would be 2 weeks. We close that, and they have done NOTHING to get it moving again. They needed the paperwork. So we send that to them on Friday, during business hours, for the second time because the attorney sent it to them as well. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday we call and email. I get an email back again asking for that paperwork. I send it a third time, and am told great, should close Wednesday since everything else is "done." Wednesday keep emailing and calling, all day. Re sending paperwork they have, but at least it's moving. Then... Nothing! Call customer care at 5:00 and reach the officers manager again to be told all looks good, we will call you in the morning to close tomorrow, we requested 12:00, she assured us that should be doable. Once we heard fro The closer, they advise they can't do that, so we agree on 8 pm. Bat 6:30 I happen to check my email to find an email for the manager asking for current credit card statements, which ones were not listed though. Ok.... I'm on the road, so I ask her if which ones, and if it can wait until I get home. I specifically ask if this will effect our closing since this is so last minute. She sends me the list, no other replace sw. I send her 4 more emails in the next hour asking if we are closing... I call the main line, customer care, and every other number we can find all with no answers. I have the email confirming the closing for tonight at 8 pm, and here it is 11:30 and no show still. Yes, I know they won't be here, and I am still hoping for tomorrow, but I'm so me I know I can't sleep. Please, save yourself the stress, sleepless night and frustration and take your business elsewhere. We started this June 16 and STILL have not closed, and can not get an explanation why.

By: Donna (Littleton, CO)

Owner

Yes, I recommend this lender

Overall experience was one of complete pleasure. Any delay in the process was caused by me and at that, it was only a month.

By: Haydee (Marietta, GA)
See All Reviews
eLEND
5/1 ARM
Interest Rate
2.625%
APR
3.324%
Monthly Payment
$804
(855) 982-3216 Contact
eLEND
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 $804
Estimated Mortgage Insurance Payments $0
Total Monthly Mortgage Payment $804
Lender Fees $3,790
Lender Credit $0
Total Closing Fees* $3,790
*Other 3rd party fees may apply
eLEND
Email Lender

About the Lender

eLEND provides residential mortgage financing directly to potential home buyers and existing homeowners through a robust online platform built to simplify the lending process. Our mortgage technology solutions help thousands of families every year achieve their home financing goals. We offer Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, and Renovation financing programs with exceptional rates and service. A division of American Financial Resources, Inc., eLEND is backed by over 18 years of industry success. Our expert Mortgage Loan Originators will help connect you with the ideal financing solution to achieve your specific goals. Contact us today for a free rate quote or e-Approval.
eLEND
Email Lender Write a Review

Lender Reviews

Wade

After giving them papers directly from the IRS , after having to show divorce papers from 14yrs. Ago, having to get an itemized list of whom was filled on my bankruptcy, let's see what else phone numbers of ex employer from two years ago not the same year, personal reference?????please tell me how showing papers off an old divorce is when relevant? What about a bankruptcy that is 8yrs. Old, is it going to end it's been since December 3, 2015

By: Keri (Gibsonton, FL)

very rude

Stephen Pullen contacted us and he was extremely rude. He kept interrupting me and talking over me. Completely uninterested in what our needs were. We tried back in October to use them and no call backs. Very poor customer service

By: karen (Hinesville, GA)

good

Yes, I recommend this lender

Good

By: Arlen (Mukilteo, WA)
See All Reviews
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

February 10 2016
  •   Lock if closing in 7 days:
    Rates may be heading up
  •   Lock if closing in 15 days:
    Rates may be heading up
  •   Float if closing in 30 days:
    Rates may be heading down

Today

No important domestic economic data were published this morning. However, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will be making a presentation to the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill later. The text of her remarks, released in advance earlier, suggests she'll be dovish about future rate hikes: She says the policy that governs those "is by no means on a preset course." And she suggests global turbulence could hit U.S.growth. Neither remark is likely to reassure already spooked markets.

With Chinese stock markets closed for new year, Japan set the tone overnight with another bout of heavy losses. However, Europe has been much calmer, and all the major markets there were showing gains at approaching 10:00am (ET). At that same time, the Dow Jones industrial average was up – but only by +0.52 percent. The oil price was down again, and at $27.64 was well below the psychologically important $30/barrel level.

Soon after 10:00am (ET), yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds, which are closely tied to mortgage rates, were up, though not dramatically. While those yield trends on those bonds at that time of the morning frequently turn out to be accurate predictors of the direction of travel for the day's mortgage rates (but see "Yesterday," below), they slow, accelerate or reverse sufficiently often that they can't be relied upon as a basis for making important financial decisions. During unstable times, such as these, they are even less reliable.

Your Dilemma

As (so far with masterly understatement) the Wall Street Journal warned in January, this could be a "volatile year in global markets." There's always a risk in choosing to float or lock your rate, but it's more acute in volatile environments. True, there are opportunities for rich rewards if rates fall substantially, but there is also a continuing danger of being trapped in an upward cycle that doesn't end before you have to lock your rate.

So those who are cautious may wish to lock today, trading the possibility of further falls in rates for the security of fixing what should still be an exceptionally good mortgage deal in historical terms. Those who like to gamble might prefer to wait awhile before locking, hoping there will be further falls ahead. Only you can decide on the risk with which you personally are comfortable.

That advice applies to all readers, even though LendingTree suggests that those with longer to wait before they must lock might prefer to continue to float. That recommendation is not based on any special insights concerning how mortgage rates might move, but merely on the calculation that there's a greater chance – amid the current volatility – of significant falls within 30 days than 15. Such falls may not occur at all, and it's perfectly possible rises will predominate over that period.

Yesterday

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) fell by 7 basis points (a basis point is 1/100th of 1 percent) yesterday, according to Mortgage News Daily. That brings them to their lowest level in more than a year.

Something strange happened yesterday. Normally, as described above, mortgage rates move fairly closely in line with yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds. But rates plunged 7 basis points on Tuesday while yields fell (having been higher earlier in the day) by less than 1 basis point. That's really quite unusual, though not unique. What may have happened is that those who monitor financial markets in order to set rates were overwhelmed by the extreme volatility seen on Monday, and caught up with reality yesterday. The lesson to draw from this is that the disclaimers in this column aren't there just to keep lawyers happy: It really is very difficult to forecast even hours ahead when markets are so volatile. The last couple of days have played havoc with LendingTree's pretty respectable record for making good calls. Apologies to readers who took the advice here only to regret it later.

The Bigger Picture

Unlike most other interest rates, those for mortgages (except ones for existing adjustable-rate mortgages) are largely determined by the supply of money into the market from investors and the demand for such loans from consumers. That supply is heavily affected by the amount of risk investors are prepared to sustain in their portfolios. When spooked by economic uncertainty, they tend to buy safe assets, including mortgage securities, which can result in an increased supply of product (cash) that drives down the price (rates). When they're more confident, they tend to invest in riskier but more profitable assets, which reduces the supply and drives up rates. That's not to say the Federal Reserve doesn't influence mortgage rates; just that it does so only indirectly.

Looking beyond, one hopes, the period covered by these mortgage rate lock recommendations, some economists are predicting a new worldwide recession, which might see mortgage rates fall even further. British newspaper The Daily Telegraph ran an extensive feature over the weekend that warned: "A pernicious cycle of collapsing commodities, corporate defaults and currency wars looms over the global economy." And last week, a Citigroup research note used the term "death spiral" in relation to markets. Others see a less cataclysmic but still worrying future. The Guardian's website ran an article on Sunday by Nouriel Roubini, who is professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business, and who suggested, "Welcome to the new abnormal for growth, inflation, monetary policies and asset prices. Make yourself at home. It looks like we'll be here for a while."

However, not all economists are so gloomy. On Monday morning, Goldman Sachs estimated the chance of the United States experiencing a recession in the next four quarters at 15 percent, and the bank "is betting 'Mr. Market' is wrong in its recession warnings," according to Bloomberg. Later that same day, Comerica Bank chief economist Robert A. Dye said in an email, "We believe that household balance sheets will be a source of strength and stability for the U.S. economy in 2016, even with the choppy start to the year." Indeed, many experts expect American mortgage rates to edge up early this year and to stay a little higher than at present. For example, in its current Housing Forecast, published January 11, Fannie Mae's economics team predicted that those for 30-year FRMs will average 4.0 percent in the current quarter, 4.1 percent in the following two, and 4.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

Recent Mortgage Rates

The average rate nationwide for a 30-year FRM during the week ending February 4 was 3.72 percent with an average 0.6 point, according to Freddie Mac's latest weekly survey. The same rate averaged 3.79 percent during the week ending January 28, and 3.81 percent seven days before that. This time last year, the average 30-year FRM came in at 3.59 percent.

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.

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!

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