When you are promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate over a certain number of days for the application process. This prevents you from working through your entire application process and discovering 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 ones generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter span of time
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you can get the lowest rate. A larger down payment will give you a reduced interest rate, because you'll have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You could choose to pay points to improve your rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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