A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This keeps you from going through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period typically 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 opting for a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you may be able to get the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will result in a better interest rate, since you're starting out with more equity. You may choose to pay points to reduce your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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