When you're promised a "rate lock" from a 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 prevents you from working through your whole application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Although there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are typically more expensive. A lending institution can agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, such as sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than that of a rate lock of fewer days.
There are more ways to get a reduced rate, in addition to agreeing to a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will result in a reduced interest rate, because you'll have a good deal of equity at the start. You can pay points to reduce your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. To many people, this is a good option..
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