Money: Locked In...or Out?

Bouncing mortgage rates can cost you money, so pay attention when refinancing

As a professional financial planner, New Yorker Melissa Levine routinely helps clients guard against unpleasant surprises. But even she has been rattled by the wild ride that mortgage interest rates have taken recently. Since setting out in early June to refinance the loan on her co-op apartment, Levine has watched interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage shoot up from 5% to 6%. Although she initially locked in the lower rate, a delay in the processing of her application could have meant missing the 60-day processing deadline--and getting stuck with the higher prevailing rate and a bigger monthly mortgage payment. "It was...

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