When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a certain interest rate over a determined period for the application process. This means your interest rate can't rise while you are working through the application process.
While there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days). A lending institution can agree to freeze an interest rate and points for a longer period, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than with a rate lock of fewer days.
There are more ways to get a good rate, in addition to going with a shorter rate lock period. You can pay points to bring down your interest 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 life of the loan. You are paying more initially, but you will come out ahead in the long run. Paying points may not be a wise option if will not own the property for more than 5 to 7 years.
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