A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to hold a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate won't go up during the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are other ways to get a good rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will get you a lower interest rate, because you'll have a good amount of equity at the start. You can pay points to bring down your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this is a good option..
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