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Whether to lock or float a mortgage rate is a crucial question for borrowers. And one that's not easy to answer.
When you float a loan, you haven't yet secured a lender’s quoted interest rate. Floating means you're willing to take the risk that interest rates will either not go up or that they will fall before you close your loan.
A rate lock is an agreement from a mortgage lender to hold a specific mortgage interest rate for a specific time period, even if rates rise. There are typically four elements to a rate lock. They should be clearly shown on the confirmation you receive once you notify the lender that you want to lock in your rate.
Deciding when to lock in involves some guesswork. No one can predict future interest rates with certainty. At Virginia Credit Union you can lock in a rate at any time during the mortgage application process:
After we receive your completed application and application deposit, you may give us your lock-in request between 11 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on any business day. For purchase transactions we will need the fully executed sales contract.
To lock your rate you must speak with your mortgage loan officer. VACU does not permit emailed or faxed lock requests.
Your request should include the specific rate and points available that day which you wish to lock in. We also need the property address if that has not yet been provided.
We will send a confirmation letter within 3 business days of receiving your lock-in request to let you know that we received and accept your request. This letter is not a commitment to make the loan or to close your loan by a specific date.
Once you have locked in your rate, that rate is set for the lock period chosen unless the terms of your loan change. If you have any questions about locking in an interest rate, please contact your mortgage loan officer.