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 specified period during your application process. This keeps you from working through your entire application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. The bigger down payment you make, the smaller your rate will be, since you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to lower your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this is a good option..
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