How Long Does A Mortgage Rate Quote Last?

Mortgage rates have short shelf lives.

From the moment you get a quote, it's already started to spoil. It may go bad in an hour or a day, but it will definitely go bad.

Rate quotes expire because rates aren't made from thin air.

Mortgage rates come from the price of mortgage bonds, which are securities bought and sold on Wall Street. Like everything else on Wall Street, the prices of mortgage bonds change by the second.

Even since you loaded this page, mortgage bond prices are changed.

So, when a lender tells you to "act quickly" on a mortgage rate quote, it’s not a sales tactic designed to make you buy. It's legitimate advice based on how mortgage rates change.

Home buyers can receive rate quotes

You have two choices when you get a quote for a rate:

  • Commit to the mortgage rate, known as locking
  • Don’t commit to the mortgage rate, known as floating

It is better to lock or float a mortgage rate? That depends.

Some first-time buyers prefer a locked mortgage rate's certainty because it also locks in their monthly payment. It's easier to budget with a mortgage rate that's locked.

Other home buyers prefer the potential reward of a floating mortgage rate. They don't mind that Wall Street pricing changes because they're a chance that rates could go lower.

Either choice is acceptable. Buyers should do what makes them most comfortable. The important part is knowing the risks.

Ask us your mortgage rate float and lock question in the chat box.

Dan Green

Dan Green is a former mortgage loan officer and an industry expert. He's appeared on NPR and CNBC, and in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and dozens of local newspapers. Dan has helped millions of first-time home buyers get educated on mortgages, real estate, and personal finance. Have mortgage questions? Ask Dan in the chat.

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