A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to freeze a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This means your interest rate will not grow while you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are other ways to get a good rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you can pay, the lower your interest rate will be, as you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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