When you are offered a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a specific interest rate over a certain number of days for the application process. This protects you from working through your whole application process and discovering at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
While there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
In addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you can attain the lowest rate. The bigger the down payment, the lower the rate will be, since you will be entering the loan with more equity. You may choose to pay points to improve your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. For many people, this is a good option..
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