A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to set a certain interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a certain period of time during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate will not get higher while you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
There are other ways to get a lower rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you make, the better your interest rate will be, since you will be entering the loan with more equity. You might choose to pay points to improve your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this is a good option..
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