When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a set interest rate over a determined period while you work on your application process. This keeps you from working through your entire application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones generally 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 span of time
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, besides agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. The bigger the down payment, the better the rate will be, as you will have more equity from the beginning. You could opt to pay points to lower your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You are paying more initially, but you'll come out ahead, especially if you keep the loan for a long time.
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