When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a set interest rate over a certain number of days while you work on your application process. This saves you from working through your whole application process and finding out 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 typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will most likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
In addition to choosing the shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you are able to score the best rate. The bigger down payment you pay, the lower your rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to lower your interest rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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