"Rate Lock" and other Ways to Get a Lower Interest Rate
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Locking in your Interest Rate
A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a specific interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This prevents you from getting through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher rate than you would 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 opting for a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, since you'll be starting out with more equity. You can pay points to reduce your rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..