"Rate Lock" and other Ways to Get a Lower Interest Rate
Freezing the Rate
When you are promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a set interest rate for a certain number of days for your application process. This prevents you from working through your entire application process and finding out at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, anywhere from fifteen to sixty days, with the longer ones usually costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher rate than you would have with a shorter span of time
More Ways to Get a Great Interest Rate
There are more ways to get a lower rate, besides choosing a shorter rate lock period. The larger down payment you make, the smaller the interest rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate for the loan term, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that makes financial sense for some is to pay points to bring the rate down over the life of the loan. You'll pay more initially, but you will come out ahead, especially if you don't refinance early.