A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a promise from the lender to lock in a specific interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This ensures that your interest rate will not grow as you are working through the application process.
Although there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
In addition to going with the shorter lock period, there are more ways you can get the lowest rate. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, since you will have more equity from the beginning. You could opt to pay points to reduce your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to reduce the interest rate over the term of the loan. You'll pay more initially, but you'll save money, especially if you don't refinance early.
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