What is a "rate lock period"?
Freezing the Rate
When you're offered a "rate lock" from the lender, it means that you are guaranteed to keep a specific interest rate for a determined period while you work on your application process. This prevents you from getting through your entire application process and learning at the end that your interest rate has risen higher.
Although there can be a choice of rate lock periods (from 15 to 60 days), the longer spans are typically more expensive. You can get a longer period for your lock, but in choosing this option, will most likely have a higher interest rate than you would with a shorter rate lock period
More Ways to Save on Interest
In addition to choosing a shorter rate lock period, there are other ways you may be able to get the best rate. A larger down payment will result in a lower interest rate, because you will have a good deal of equity from the beginning. You could choose to pay points to bring down your interest rate over the loan term, meaning you pay more initially. For many people, this is a good option..