When you're promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate over a certain number of days while you work on your application process. This ensures that your interest rate won't go up during the application process.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, between fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will most likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can attain the best rate. A larger down payment will give you a lower interest rate, because you will be starting out with more equity. You could choose to pay points to lower your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You'll pay more initially, but you will save money, especially if you don't refinance early.
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