A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a particular interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a certain period of time during your application process. This means your interest rate will not get higher as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to opting for the shorter lock period, there are several ways you can score the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will give you a reduced interest rate, because you'll be starting out with more equity. You could opt to pay points to improve your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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