A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a particular interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This saves you from getting through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter span of time
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. The more the down payment, the lower your rate will be, since you will have more equity from the start. You might choose to pay points to improve your rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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