A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to set a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period during your application process. This means your interest rate will not go up as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. The lender will agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than that of a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to opting for the shorter lock period, there are other ways you can get the best rate. The larger down payment you pay, the smaller the interest rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to reduce your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes financial sense..
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