When you are offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a specific interest rate for a determined period for your application process. This ensures that your interest rate will not rise during the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones typically costing more. A lender will agree to hold an interest rate and points for a longer period, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than that of a rate lock of fewer days.
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can attain the best rate. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, because you'll be starting out with more equity. You may choose to pay points to lower your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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