A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a certain interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period during your application process. This means your interest rate can't go up during the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
There are other ways to get a low rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will give you a better interest rate, because you will be starting out with a good deal of equity. You might opt to pay points to lower your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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