A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to hold a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate cannot get higher while you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing the shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you may be able to score the lowest rate. The larger the down payment, the lower your interest rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to reduce your rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this is a good option..
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