When you're offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate for a certain number of days while you work on your application process. This protects you from going through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to choosing the shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to score the best rate. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, because you will have more equity at the start. You could opt to pay points to improve your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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