When you're promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate over a determined period for the application process. This prevents you from working through your whole application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
Although there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter period
In addition to opting for a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can get the lowest rate. The bigger down payment you make, the better your rate will be, as you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to reduce your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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