When you're promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a set interest rate over a determined period for your application process. This ensures that your interest rate cannot go up during the application process.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will most likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter period
There are more ways to get a lower rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will result in a better interest rate, because you will have more equity at the start. You can pay points to reduce your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that makes financial sense for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the life of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you will save money in the long run.
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