A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a specific interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period during your application process. This means your interest rate cannot grow while you are going through the application process.
While there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are other ways to get a good rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, because you're starting out with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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