A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to set a specific interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This saves you from going through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to opting for the shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you are able to get the best rate. The larger down payment you can make, the smaller your rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this is a good option..
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