A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This saves you from getting through your entire application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period 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 with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to going with the shorter lock period, there are other ways you can attain the lowest rate. The bigger down payment you pay, the lower the rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You may opt to pay points to reduce your interest 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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