When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a set interest rate for a certain number of days while you work on the application process. This saves you from getting through your entire application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
There are more ways to get a low rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, since you will be starting out with a good deal of equity. You can pay points to lower your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes financial sense..
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