When you're promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a specific interest rate over a determined period while you work on your application process. This keeps you from going through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has gone up.
Although there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer ones are generally more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
There are more ways to get a lower rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will get you a reduced interest rate, because you will have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You can pay points to lower your rate for the life of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that makes financial sense for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll come out ahead in the end.
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