A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This protects you from getting through your whole application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Although there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will most likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a lower rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. The bigger down payment you make, the lower the interest rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You can pay points to lower your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this is a good option..
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