A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a specific interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate cannot grow as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans usually costing more. 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 span of time
There are other ways to get a lower rate, in addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will give you a better interest rate, since you'll have a good amount of equity at the start. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this is a good option..
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