When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate for a determined period while you work on your application process. This means your interest rate won't rise during the application process.
While there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can score the lowest rate. The bigger the down payment, the lower the rate will be, since you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to improve your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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