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When to Lock Your VA Loan

By: Grant Moon 01/13/13 09:32 am

When to Lock Your VA Loan

As you move through the process of getting your VA loan approved you’ve no doubt provided your fair share of documentation.  You’ve provided your tax returns, pay check stubs and your bank statements, and not to mention all the required VA loan disclosures and government-required paperwork.  But one thing you do need to before you close is to guarantee, or lock in your VA loan interest rate.

When you select your VA lender and provide a VA loan application the interest rate quoted to you by your loan officer is not guaranteed until you make an official “lock in “request.  A lender won’t lock in your rate without your approval so it’s up to you to keep an eye on current interest rates.  Until you lock your rate, your interest rate is subject to daily market swings and can change from day to day.

Your VA lender will tell you when you can lock in your rate but typically it’s after your loan has been documented and approved.  There are no universal lock requirements for VA mortgages and each VA lender can have their own guidelines but typically a loan cannot be locked until the application has been received and evaluated by the lender.

The longer the lock period, the higher your rate will be.  Some lenders will allow you to lock in for up to 60 days or more but you’ll find that doing so will make for a higher rate. At the same time, lenders can offer lock periods as short as five days.  Such short lock periods offer the lowest rate to VA borrowers.

When should you lock?  When you lock in your rate, make sure that your lock period is long enough to close your loan.  If you just submitted your loan and request a 15 day lock your lock guarantee will expire before your loan is approved.  When locking in your rate, lock in for the minimum amount of time it will take to comfortably close your loan.  That way, you won’t pay a premium for a longer term lock and will ensure your lock guarantee is long enough to close your loan.

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