What is a "rate lock period"?
Locking It In
A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This means your interest rate won't grow during the application process.
While there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are generally more expensive. The lending institution can agree to hold an interest rate and points for a longer period, such as 60 days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than that of a rate lock of a shorter period.
Other Interest Saving Strategies
There are other ways to get a good rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will give you a better interest rate, because you will have a good deal of equity at the start. You might choose to pay points to lower your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..