A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to freeze a specific interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This saves you from going through your whole application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Although there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a low rate, besides agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. The bigger down payment you make, the better the interest rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You may choose to pay points to bring down your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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