When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate for a determined period while you work on the application process. This prevents you from getting through your whole application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate is higher.
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 choosing this option, will most likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter period
In addition to opting for a shorter lock period, there are more ways you may be able to attain the best rate. A bigger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate because you are starting out with more equity. You might opt to pay points to reduce your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more upfront. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal.
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