You Need to Know Before Taking Out a Loan
We are here to guide you to find the information you need for all
types of loans!
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When you're looking for a mortgage, you're likely to shop among lenders
for the most favorable interest rate, and the lowest points and other
up-front charges. When you find the most favorable terms and the lender
that you want, you'll apply to that lender.
are a way to ensure that at settlement, what you requested from your lender
is what you'll get.
is a Lock-In?
A lock-in, also called a rate-lock or rate commitment, is a lender's promise
to hold a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you,
usually for a specified period of time, while your loan application is
upon the lender, you may be able to lock in your interest rate and points
- you file
processing of the loan
- when the
loan is approved; or
Your Lock-In Be in Writing?
is wise to obtain written, rather than verbal, lock-in agreements to:
understand how your lender's lock-ins work; and
- have a
tangible record of your arrangements with the lender in the event of
should also obtain a blank copy of a lender's lock-in form to read carefully
before you apply for a loan. If possible, show the lock-in form to a lawyer
or real estate professional.
You Be Charged for a Lock-In?
Lenders may charge you a lock-in fee that may or may not be refundable
if you do not close your loan. The amount of the fee and how it is charged
will vary among lenders and may depend upon the length of the lock-in
Long Are Lock-Ins Valid?
Lock-ins of 30 to 60 days are common but lock-in time periods may range
from 7 to 120 days. Usually, the longer the period, the greater the fee.
on the length of your lock-in:
- ask your
lender to estimate (in writing, if possible) the time needed to process
in any delays that might impact settlement (construction issues, etc.);
- ask for
a lock-in with as few contingencies as possible.
Happens if the Lock-In Period Expires?
If your lock-in period expires, you might lose the interest rate and the
number of points you had locked in. Most lenders will then offer the loan
based on the prevailing interest rate and points, which may now be higher
due to market conditions.
This information is adapted from "A Consumer's Guide to Mortgage
Lock-Ins" published by the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of
Negotiating Your Auto Lease
You can compare different lease offers and negotiate
some terms. Consider ...
- the agreed-upon
value of the vehicle--a lower value can reduce your monthly payment
payments, including the capitalized cost reduction
- the length
of the lease
- the monthly
- any end-of-lease
fees and charges
- the mileage
allowed and per-mile charges for excess miles
- the option
to purchase either at lease end or earlier
your lease includes "gap" coverage, which protects you if
the vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident.
Ask for alternatives
to advertised specials and other lease offerings.
This information is adapted from "A Consumer Guide to Vehicle Leasing"
published by the Federal Trade Commission.
for buying a used car
Check out the car's repair record, maintenance costs, and safety and mileage
ratings in consumer magazines or online. Look up the "blue book"
value, and be prepared to negotiate the price.
a dealer? Look for the Buyers Guide from the Federal Trade Commission.
It's required by a federal regulation called the Used Car Rule.
- Make sure
all oral promises are written into the Buyers Guide.
- You have
the right to see a copy of the dealer's warranty before you buy.
are included in the price of the product; service contracts cost extra
and are sold separately.
- Ask for
the car's maintenance record from the owner, dealer, or repair shop.
- Test drive
the car on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
- Have the
car inspected by a mechanic you hire.
out the dealer with local consumer protection officials.
- If you
buy a car "as is," you'll have to pay for anything that goes
wrong after the sale.
- The Used
Car Rule generally doesn't apply to private sales.
is adapted from "Tips for Buying a Used Car" published by the
Federal Trade Commission.