A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a certain interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This ensures that your interest rate will not grow during the application process.
While there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are other ways to get a reduced rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a lower interest rate, since you will be starting out with more equity. You might choose to pay points to improve your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the life of the loan. You'll pay more initially, but you will save money in the long run.
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