Decoding mortgage lender rate sheets

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Q: "What are rate sheets?" A: Rate sheets are tables of interest rates and points (henceforth "prices") prepared by a lender. The prices are those the lender is willing to accept at the time the sheet is distributed. Q: "Who gets rate sheets, and when and how do they get them?" A: Each morning, retail lenders distribute rate sheets to their loan officer employees, and wholesale lenders distribute theirs to all their approved mortgage brokers. The prices hold for the day, unless a new rate sheet issued later in the day replaces them. Rate sheets are distributed by fax or (increasingly) over the Internet. Q: "Do rate sheets cover all the loans that a lender offers?" A: Usually they cover the lender's major loan programs only, because complete coverage would make them voluminous. Lenders vary in the number of programs included. If a broker or loan officer (henceforth "loan provider") is looking for a program not covered by the rate sheet, they have to call the lender representative who h...