"Rate Lock" and other Ways to Get a Lower Interest Rate
Lock It In
When you're promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate over a certain number of days for the application process. This ensures that your interest rate can't go up as you are going through the application process.
While there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended ones are generally more expensive. A lending institution may agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer period, say sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than that of a rate lock of a shorter period.
Additional Ways to Save on Interest
There are more ways to get a lower rate, besides going with a shorter rate lock period. The bigger down payment you can pay, the lower the rate will be, because you will be entering the loan with more equity. You can pay points to improve your rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this makes financial sense..