A rate lock is a lender's promise to hold a specific interest rate and a specific number of points for you for a specified period of time during your application process. This means your interest rate will not go up as you are working through the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer spans typically costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
There are other ways to get a reduced rate, in addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment may give you a lower interest rate, since you will have a good deal of equity at the start. You could choose to pay points to lower your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For a some people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
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