A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This saves you from getting through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are more ways to get a good rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, since you will have a good amount of equity from the beginning. You can pay points to reduce your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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