A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to set a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period of time during your application process. This protects you from working through your entire application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones generally 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 rate lock period
There are more ways to get a lower rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you pay, the lower the rate will be, as you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to bring down your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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