Getting a Low Interest Rate
Locking It In
When you're promised a "rate lock" from your lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a specific interest rate over a certain number of days for your application process. This saves you from getting through your whole application process and discovering at the end that the interest rate has risen higher.
Rate lock periods can be various lengths of time, between 15 to 60 days, with the longer spans generally costing more. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will likely have a higher interest rate than you would have with a shorter rate lock span of time
Other Interest Saving Strategies
In addition to going with a shorter lock period, there are more ways you can attain the best rate. The bigger the down payment, the lower the rate will be, since you will have more equity from the start. You could choose to pay points to improve your rate over the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to improve the interest rate over the term of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll save money, especially if you don't refinance early.