A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This keeps you from getting through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
There are other ways to get a better rate, in addition to agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. The larger the down payment, the lower your interest rate will be, as you will be entering the loan with more equity. You could choose to pay points to improve your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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