When you are offered a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a particular interest rate for a determined period while you work on your application process. This means your interest rate cannot go up as you are going through the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
There are other ways to get a reduced rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you can pay, the lower your interest rate will be, because you will have more equity from the start. You can pay points to bring down your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this is a good option..
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