When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate over a certain number of days while you work on the application process. This saves you from working through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Although there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will result in a lower interest rate, because you're starting out with more equity. You can pay points to lower your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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