A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period while your application is processed. This means your interest rate won't go up as you are going through the application process.
Although there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter period
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you pay, the lower the interest rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to bring down your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to improve the interest rate over the life of the loan. You pay more initially, but you will save money, especially if you don't refinance early.
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