When you're offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a particular interest rate over a determined period while you work on the application process. This saves you from working through your whole application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are more ways to get a low rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will give you a better interest rate, because you will be starting out with a good deal of equity. You may opt to pay points to improve your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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