When you're offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate over a certain number of days for the application process. This ensures that your interest rate won't rise during the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are other ways to get a better rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, because you'll be starting out with a good deal of equity. You can pay points to improve your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to reduce the rate over the life of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll come out ahead in the end.
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