When you are offered a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a set interest rate over a determined period for the application process. This means your interest rate cannot grow while you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer period typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will probably 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 get the lowest rate. The bigger down payment you make, the lower the interest rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You can pay points to improve your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this is a good option..
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