What is a "rate lock period"?

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Locking It In

When you are promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a certain interest rate over a certain number of days for the application process. This prevents you from going through your entire application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has gotten higher.

While there are various lengths of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are typically more expensive. A lender may agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer span of time, such as 60 days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be higher than with a rate lock of fewer days.

Other Interest Saving Strategies

There are other ways to get a reduced rate, besides opting for a shorter rate lock period. A larger down payment will give you a better interest rate, because you'll have more equity at the start. You could choose to pay points to lower your interest rate for the term of the loan, meaning you pay more initially. To a lot of people, this makes sense and is a good deal..

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