A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to lock in a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This saves you from working through your entire application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
Although there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
There are more ways to get a better rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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