A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a certain interest rate and a specific 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 learning at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
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 probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
In addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can score the lowest rate. A larger down payment will give you a lower interest rate, because you'll have a good amount of equity at the start. You could opt to pay points to bring down your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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