When you're offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a set interest rate for a certain number of days for the application process. This keeps you from working through your whole application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock period
There are more ways to get a good rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. The larger the down payment, the lower the interest rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to lower your interest rate over the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this is a good option..
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