When you are promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a particular interest rate over a certain number of days for your application process. This saves you from working through your whole application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter span of time
In addition to choosing the shorter lock period, there are several ways you can attain the best rate. The bigger the down payment, the better the rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You can pay points to improve your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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