A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to set a certain interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This ensures that your interest rate won't go up during the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you may be able to score the lowest rate. The bigger the down payment, the better the interest rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to reduce your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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