A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to freeze a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This means your interest rate cannot go up while you are going through the application process.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter period
There are other ways to get a low rate, in addition to agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. The larger the down payment, the lower the rate will be, since you will be entering the loan with more equity. You might choose to pay points to lower your interest rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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