Getting a Low Interest Rate
Locking It In
When you are offered a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a specific interest rate for a determined period for your application process. This saves you from going through your whole application process and learning at the end that the interest rate has gotten higher.
Although there are several lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in making this choice, will likely have a higher rate than you would with a shorter rate lock span of time
Additional Ways to Save on Interest
There are other ways to get a better rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. A bigger down payment will give you a better interest rate, because you will have a good amount of equity at the start. You can pay points to lower your interest rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more up front. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to reduce the interest rate over the life of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you will save money in the long run.