A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This prevents you from working through your whole application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones usually costing more. A lending institution will agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer period, such as 60 days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than that of a rate lock of fewer days.
In addition to opting for the shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you are able to attain the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can pay, the lower your interest rate will be, as you will have more equity from the beginning. You may choose to pay points to bring down your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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