When you're offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a specific interest rate over a determined period for the application process. This keeps you from going through your entire application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Rate lock periods can vary in length, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you are able to score the best rate. A larger down payment will give you a lower interest rate, because you'll have a good amount of equity from the beginning. You might choose to pay points to reduce your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this is a good option..
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