If you have a VA loan application with your lender on file, either for a VA streamline refinance or a purchase, you’re working with a loan officer as your loan moves through various stages of approval. Experienced loan officers will let you know what documents are needed and when, what needs to be signed and where and will let you know what rates are doing. Mortgage rates are doing very well lately, with the average 30 year rate falling below 4.00% for the second week in a row, this according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey. One year ago, conforming fixed rates were closer to 4.50%.
Yet while loan officers can provide you with the guidance needed for a smooth closing what you may not find is their willingness to tell you when it’s time to lock in your rate. Good VA loan officers typically have multiple active loan applications on file and while they can certainly tell you what rates are on any given day they may not be all that too thrilled to tell you when it’s time to lock. They might but the reason for the reluctance concerns being right or wrong.
If your loan officer said to lock in your rate today and you did so only to discover rates moved lower the next day, what would you do? Or worse still, what would you do if your loan officer advised to wait and not lock in anything only to find out that rates began a long move on the upside, leaving that lower rate in your rear view mirror?
Generally speaking, you can have a conversation with your loan officer on recent trends and get an explanation about why rates moved up or why they went down. But loan officers can’t look into the future. If you’re able to lock in your rate and you like that rates are below 4.00% today then the prudent move is to lock.