When you're promised a "rate lock" from a lender, it means that you are guaranteed to get a particular interest rate for a determined period while you work on the application process. This ensures that your interest rate will not go up as you are going through the application process.
While there may be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the extended spans are typically more expensive. The lender may agree to lock in an interest rate and points for a longer period, such as sixty days, but in exchange, the rate (and sometimes points) will be more than with a rate lock of a shorter period.
In addition to opting for a shorter rate lock period, there are more ways you can get the lowest rate. A larger down payment will result in a reduced 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 up front. One strategy that is a good option for some is to pay points to reduce the rate over the life of the loan. You pay more initially, but you'll come out ahead in the end.
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