When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a set interest rate for a determined period while you work on the application process. This means your interest rate won't grow 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 doing so, will probably have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
There are other ways to get a reduced rate, in addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, because you're starting out with more equity. You can pay points to reduce your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For a lot of people, this makes financial sense..
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