When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a particular interest rate for a certain number of days for the application process. This prevents you from getting through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gone up.
While there might be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are usually more expensive. The lender may agree to hold an interest rate and points for a longer period, such as sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than with a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to choosing a shorter lock period, there are other ways you may be able to score the best rate. The more the down payment, the lower your rate will be, because you will have more equity from the beginning. You may choose to pay points to bring down your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To many people, this makes financial sense..
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