A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a particular 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 cannot go up while you are going through the application process.
Although there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing a shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to attain the best rate. The larger the down payment, the smaller the rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You may choose to pay points to improve your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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