When applying for a mortgage, new homeowners will find themselves faced with a very important question: Should they choose a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage? For most people, a fixed rate’s going to be the best option—especially when interest levels are likely to rise. A fixed-rate mortgage will stay the same over the course of the loan, giving your monthly payments predictability.
Beyond opting for a fixed-rate mortgage, did you know that you can also lock in an interest rate before you actually close on a home? It’s a great way to secure the best possible rate, even in the middle of a rising rate environment. Here’s how.
Before You Begin
First, you’ll need to fully understand your budget and credit situation. You can connect with a lender you trust and begin going over how much money you make, how much you owe and what kind of monthly mortgage you’d be comfortable paying. This is a great time to find out if you need to fix any credit issues you might have, or if you’ll need to start saving extra for a down payment. You can also learn if a zero-money-down loan is right for your situation.
Find a real estate agent once you’re armed with your budget. Agents in the RealtyPlus®1 network can help you find the perfect home. In many states, they can even help you get cash back2 from your purchase.
Finally—the fun begins! Start house hunting. Once you have a sales contract in place, you can lock in your rate.
Locking in Your Rate
Locking in your rate means that even if interest rates go up, the rate for your loan will remain at the level you agreed to with your lender. At Navy Federal Credit Union, you can lock in a rate for up to 60 days at no additional cost.
Look for a free “float down” option when locking in your interest rate. That means, if interest rates go down before you close on the property, you can request the lower interest rate at no cost. A float down guarantees the best possible interest rate when it’s time to close: either the one you locked in or the current (lower) one.
Why Is This a Big Deal?
Well, even a slight increase in the interest rate could cost you thousands over the course of your loan. Locking in a good rate is a simple way to save money – both monthly and over the life of your mortgage.
It all starts with connecting with a lender you trust. The sooner you do, the sooner you can find your dream home – at a locked-in rate before a rate hike.
- Check your credit score and get your free credit report, so you have a clear understanding of your financial picture before you start house hunting. Fix errors and clean up your credit to ensure you get a prime rate when you apply for a mortgage.
- Get preapproved with us! This is the most important thing you can do before you begin house hunting, so you know exactly what your budget is and what you can afford.
- When you get ready to put in an offer on a home, talk to us about our Special Freedom Lock3 float down option. This ensures you get the lowest interest rate for up to 60 days.
In order to fully benefit from RealtyPlus services, you must be referred by RealtyPlus before contracting with a real estate agent and be represented by the assigned RealtyPlus real estate firm and agent at closing to qualify. Standard listing fees apply. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions.↵
The program is only available for individual home purchases/sales in the contiguous US, Alaska, and Hawaii, excluding Iowa and all employer-sponsored relocations. You are not required to receive financing through Navy Federal Credit Union in order to receive the benefits of this program. The cash back is only available with the purchase or sale of your home through the use of a program-referred and approved real estate agent, and is offered in most states, with the exception of Iowa, Alaska, and Oklahoma, and is not available in certain transactions with restricted agent commissions (including many new constructions, For Sale by Owner, or For Sale by iBuyer transactions). Your assigned agent can help you identify any transactions where the cash back would not be available. The amount of your cash back depends on the value of the property you are buying or selling. Obtaining the full $9,000 cash back requires transacting in a property valued at $3 million or greater. To calculate your potential cash back amount, please visit the RealtyPlus website: https://navyfederalrealtyplus.com/. The cash back offer is limited to one cash back per property with no limit on the number of times you may use the program. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the cash back. In Kansas and Tennessee, a MasterCard MAX gift card will be issued with preloaded points that are ready for spending at specified retail establishments after closing. State regulations in Kansas limit the dollar amounts and the type of incentive. In Mississippi, New Jersey, and Oregon, a commission reduction may be available at closing in lieu of cash back. Please check with the program coordinator for details. All real estate commissions are negotiable. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions. Seller listing fees apply. This program is offered, in part, by Anywhere Leads Inc., which may receive a co-operative brokerage fee as a result of a referral to any affiliated real estate companies, including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, Coldwell Banker®, Century 21®, ERA® Real Estate, and Corcoran. Program terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Additional terms, conditions, and restrictions apply. This is an advertisement and not a solicitation for agent representation if your property is currently listed with an agent. Anywhere Leads Inc., 175 Park Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940. Licensed broker in the state of Texas. Broker license #9009191.↵
Special Freedom Lock is available for new applications on purchase and refinance loans at no additional fee for a 60-day lock. You must request the Special Freedom Lock option during the initial lock request. You may request a lower rate no more than two (2) times, with a maximum cumulative interest rate reduction of 0.50%. You must monitor rates to decide when to exercise the option to lower the rate. All requests for a lower rate must occur at least seven (7) calendar days before closing.↵
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.