A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This keeps you from getting through your whole application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
While there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you are able to attain the lowest rate. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, because you are starting out with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this is a good option..
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