A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period while your application is processed. This protects you from getting through your whole application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
While there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are other ways to get a lower rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you can make, the smaller the rate will be, as you will have more equity from the start. You could opt to pay points to reduce your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to reduce the interest rate over the term of the loan. You will pay more initially, but you will save money, especially if you keep the loan for the full term.
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