When consumers start to get serious about buying a home or maybe refinancing an existing mortgage, one of the first things that will be researched is interest rates. Interest rates help determine affordability and lenders use current market rates and terms to help prequalify and preapprove borrowers. It can be a bit confusing at times and maybe even overwhelming when looking at all the rate choices. There’s the note rate and the annual percentage rate and of course there are closing costs to consider. Different loan terms will have higher or lower rates. A 15 year rate will be a bit lower compared to a 30 year term using the exact same loan amount.

When calling around for current rates consumers can get an up-to-date rate quote but will also be informed that until an application is received and credit report reviewed, the quoted rate can vary between what was in initially quoted to the final rate at the settlement table. But what future borrowers cannot do is get that rate guaranteed over the phone. The quoted rate cannot be locked based upon a phone conversation or a standard prequalification.