What is a Rate Lock?
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 of time while your application is processed. This means your interest rate cannot get higher during the application process.
Although there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are usually more expensive. 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 have with a shorter span of time
More Ways to Get a Great Interest Rate
There are more ways to get a better rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. The bigger the down payment, the lower your interest rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You could opt to pay points to improve your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this makes financial sense.