"Rate Lock" and other Ways to Get a Lower Interest Rate
Locking in your Interest Rate
When you are promised a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a particular interest rate over a determined period for your application process. This means your interest rate can't get higher as you are going through the application process.
Although there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are usually more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in doing so, will probably have a higher rate than you would with a shorter period
Additional Ways to Save on Interest
In addition to choosing the shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you are able to get the lowest rate. A larger down payment will get you a better interest rate, because you'll have a good deal of equity at the start. You can pay points to lower your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. One strategy that is a good option for many people is to pay points to bring the rate down over the term of the loan. You'll pay more up front, but you'll come out ahead in the end.