A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a particular interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This prevents you from getting through your entire application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can attain the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, since you will be starting out with a good deal of equity. You could opt to pay points to improve your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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