A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This keeps you from going through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Although there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are generally more expensive. The lender will agree to freeze an interest rate and points for a longer period, like 60 days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than that of a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to going with the shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to attain the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will get you a lower interest rate, because you will have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You might choose to pay points to improve your rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To a lot of people, this is a good option..
Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.