A rate "lock" or "commitment" is a lender's promise to hold a certain interest rate and a particular number of points for you for a certain period of time while your application is processed. This keeps you from working through your entire application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Although there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are generally more expensive. A lender will agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than that of a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to choosing the shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can attain the best rate. The more the down payment, the better your interest rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You may opt to pay points to improve your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this is a good option..
Do you have a question regarding a mortgage program?