When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a certain interest rate for a determined period while you work on the application process. This ensures that your interest rate will not rise during the application process.
Although there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter period
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are several ways you can get the best rate. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, since you will have more equity from the beginning. You may choose to pay points to lower your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the life of the loan. You will pay more initially, but you'll save money in the end.
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