A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a particular interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This keeps you from getting through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer period usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter period
In addition to going with a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can score the best rate. The larger the down payment, the better your interest rate will be, as you will have more equity from the start. You may choose to pay points to lower your interest rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to bring the rate down over the life of the loan. You will pay more initially, but you'll save money, especially if you don't refinance early.
Do you have a question regarding a mortgage program?