When you're promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a set interest rate for a certain number of days while you work on the application process. This ensures that your interest rate won't get higher while you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer period typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to choosing the shorter lock period, there are other ways you are able to get the best rate. The more the down payment, the better your rate will be, because you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to bring down your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to reduce the rate over the life of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll save money, especially if you keep the loan for the full term.
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