A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a specific interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This ensures that your interest rate will not rise while you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans typically costing more. The lender may agree to freeze an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, such as sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than with a rate lock of fewer days.
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are more ways you are able to get the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can make, the smaller your rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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