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 specified period while your application is processed. This saves you from going through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
Although there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter period
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you can attain the best rate. The bigger down payment you can make, the lower your interest rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You may choose to pay points to reduce your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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