Can I Trust Rate Quotes?

Most 'lenders' give reliable quotes, but you can't really trust quotes until you're ready to lock in a rate.

When you're just "shopping around" looking for the best deal, you're putting loan officers in a situation where it's in their best interests to say anything just to keep you interested in their bank. Odds are, at least one loan officer will lie to you in that situation.

Think of it this way: if loan officers don't fudge their rate quotes, they know they don't have a shot at your loan because they know that someone else is probably fudging a low rate to you. Plus, they know you can't check anywhere to see if they are telling the truth. You're not likely to immediately fill out an application and lock in a false rate quote; you're going to keep calling around and shopping and maybe tomorrow you'll call back whoever gave you the best quote.

However, by the time you are really ready to lock in your interest rate for a specific lock-in period paying a specific amount of points, you're much more likely to receive an accurate quote. An unethical lender may still try to jack up your rate at the end of the deal, when your options are more limited, but that is much less likely.