When you are promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate for a certain number of days for the application process. This keeps you from getting through your entire application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.
While there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are generally more expensive. A lender may agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer period, such as 60 days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than with a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to going with the shorter lock period, there are other ways you are able to attain the best rate. The larger the down payment, the better the interest rate will be, because you will be starting with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this is a good option..
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