When you're offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a certain interest rate over a determined period for your application process. This ensures that your interest rate cannot get higher while you are working through the application process.
Although there are various lengths 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 doing so, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing the shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to score the lowest rate. The bigger the down payment, the lower your rate will be, since you will have more equity from the beginning. You can pay points to lower your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to reduce the interest rate over the term of the loan. You will pay more initially, but you'll save money in the long run.
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