A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This ensures that your interest rate won't rise during the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones usually 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 period
In addition to opting for a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can get the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can make, the better the rate will be, as you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to lower your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll save money in the end.
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