A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to freeze a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This means your interest rate cannot rise as you are working through the application process.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are typically more expensive. A lender will agree to hold an interest rate and points for a longer period, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than that of a rate lock of fewer days.
In addition to opting for a shorter lock period, there are several ways you can get the lowest rate. A bigger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, because you'll have more equity at the start. You might choose to pay points to lower your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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