A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This keeps you from going through your whole application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
In addition to opting for a shorter lock period, there are other ways you are able to get the best rate. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, since you'll have more equity from the beginning. You might opt to pay points to reduce your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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