When you are offered a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a specific interest rate for a determined period for your application process. This ensures that your interest rate can't rise during the application process.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer ones typically costing more. A lending institution may agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, like sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than with a rate lock of fewer days.
In addition to going with a shorter rate lock period, there are several ways you can attain the lowest rate. The larger down payment you can pay, the smaller the interest rate will be, as you will be starting with more equity. You may opt to pay points to reduce your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal..
Do you have a question regarding a mortgage program?