When you are offered a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a specific interest rate over a determined period for your application process. This means your interest rate cannot go up as you are going through the application process.
While there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer 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 with a shorter period
There are other ways to get a better rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, since you are starting out with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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