When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a certain interest rate over a determined period for the application process. This means your interest rate won't go up during the application process.
Although there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are typically more expensive. 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
In addition to going with the shorter lock period, there are several ways you can attain the best rate. The more the down payment, the lower your rate will be, as you will be entering the loan with more equity. You could choose to pay points to reduce your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that makes financial sense for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You'll pay more initially, but you will save money, especially if you don't refinance early.
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