A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This means your interest rate cannot get higher as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones usually 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 with a shorter period
In addition to choosing the shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to attain the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will give you a lower interest rate, since you are starting out with more equity. You may opt to pay points to improve your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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