A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a specific interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This prevents you from going through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
While there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are other ways to get a lower rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will result in a lower interest rate, because you're starting out with more equity. You might opt to pay points to improve your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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