When you're promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a certain interest rate over a certain number of days while you work on your application process. This protects you from getting through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer period usually 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 have with a shorter period
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, in addition to agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, because you will have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You could opt to pay points to bring down your interest rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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