A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This means your interest rate cannot go up as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to opting for the shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to score the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can pay, the lower your rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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