A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a specific interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate cannot grow while you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can get the best rate. A bigger down payment will get you a better interest rate, because you'll have more equity at the start. You may opt to pay points to lower your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that makes financial sense for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You will pay more initially, but you will save money in the long run.
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