When you're offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a set interest rate for a determined period for your application process. This protects you from going through your entire application process and finding out at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
While there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are typically more expensive. 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 span of time
In addition to going with the shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you can get the lowest rate. The bigger the down payment, the lower the rate will be, as 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. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to improve the rate over the term of the loan. You are paying more initially, but you will save money in the long run.
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