A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to freeze a certain interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This saves you from working through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you are able to get the best rate. The larger down payment you pay, the lower your interest rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You might choose to pay points to lower your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this is a good option..
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