When you're promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate for a determined period for the application process. This ensures that your interest rate can't go up during the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are other ways you may be able to score the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can pay, the smaller the interest rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to lower your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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