A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time during your application process. This means your interest rate cannot rise while you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones 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 with a shorter period
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you are able to score the best rate. The bigger the down payment, the smaller your rate will be, since you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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