A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to hold a particular interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This protects you from going through your entire application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a low rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, because you'll be starting out with more equity. You may choose to pay points to lower your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this is a good option..
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