"Rate Lock" and other Ways to Get a Lower Interest Rate
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Lock It In
A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This means your interest rate will not get higher as you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
More Ways to Get a Great Interest Rate
There are more ways to get a good rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will result in a lower interest rate, because you'll be starting out with a good deal of equity. You could opt to pay points to lower your rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to improve the interest rate over the term of the loan. You will pay more up front, but you'll save money, especially if you keep the loan for a long time.