A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period during your application process. This prevents you from getting through your entire application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you are able to attain the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will result in a better interest rate, since you will have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You may opt to pay points to improve your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this makes financial sense..
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