Use this guide to find the right time to refinance your home, make changes to your mortgage, and save money in the long run.
Refinancing your mortgage can save you a lot of money, but know when to refinance
and what terms to look for. These experts will help you take that next step.
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If you’re interested in the housing market, you’ve probably heard about mortgage refinancing. For many, the draw is securing a lower interest rate or a maturity date that’s better for them.
Refinancing a loan means taking out a new refinance loan to pay off the previous one, with new terms that suit you. The best refinance companies are easy to find; shop around and examine different lenders, their rates, terms and loan types. It’s important to find the best company for your needs.
Refinancing is great for getting a handle on your finances, largely through securing a more manageable interest rate bringing down your payments and helping build equity, the value of your home minus the amount you owe, faster. By refinancing to a better interest rate and shorter payoff time, more of your monthly payment will go towards the principal, not the interest. There are costs, so decide if mortgage refinance is right for you by weighing the benefits against the costs.
Many borrowers opt for cash-out refinancing, where they take out a loan for a larger amount than what the house is worth and keep the difference, often to pay off other loans—such as credit cards—which have higher interest rates. Cash-out refinancing can be used for any expenses, not just other debt.
Great for comparing many loan options at a glance, Lendingtree is an online marketplace with no hidden fees and free credit scoring. It offers 15- to 30- year refinance loans and has a network of over 350 lenders. Its website is easy to navigate and it's possible to see offers quickly and online. Lendingtree is ideal for busy mortgage refinance shoppers who want to see several options at a glance.
JG Wentworth is a great choice for those needing their strong customer service and straightforward application. It offers primarily for those with good credit and is a leader in refinancing with its many options geared toward refinancing.
Offering fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage, First Internet Bank is an excellent choice for standard and HARP refinance loans, as well as home equity loan programs. Offering rate watch, you can recieve email updates with mortgage interest rates and calculate the numbers to decide if a refinance loan is right for you.
|Improve your terms and rates||Significant fees|
|Build equity by paying the principal loan||Best rates come with good credit|
|Can receive cash payment|
Mortgage refinance companies will base their rates on your credit rating and history. Check if your credit rating is high enough to negotiate a lower interest rate that will make refinancing worthwhile. If you are not getting quotes with rates you'd like, evaluate if now is the right time to refinance and work on getting a better quote down the line. Here’s how:
Does the mortgage refinance loan you qualify for justify the expenses of taking out a 2nd mortgage? Expect the following costs when you refinance and determine the true value of a lower interest rate after you've paid these expenses.
|Application fee||$200 to $250|
|Appraisal report||$300 to $600|
|Loan origination and document prep fee||1% of the loan value|
|Title search||$200 to $400|
|Title insurance||$400 to $800|
|City recording fee||$25 to $250|
|Flood certification||$50 to $150|
If you have poor credit, you may not qualify for a mortgage refinance with a super low interest rate and top terms, however you can prove to lenders that you're a reliable borrower and receive a new mortgage loan. If you want to lower your monthly payments and you have bad credit, refinancing your mortgage is still an option for you. Because your home is used as collateral for this loan, you'll recieve better terms on a 2nd mortgage than you would on a personal loan or through using credit cards.
Here are 3 ways to refinance your mortgage with bad credit:
The best mortgage refinance lenders generally do not approve loans to people whos original home loans are in default. Lenders want to know that you will be able to make your monthly payments, and may require certain income standards, or for the loan to be no more than a percentage of your income.
Once you’re interested in mortgage refinancing, it’s important to examine the costs. You should be able to pay the closing costs, which can include appraisal fees, prepaid interest or points, title search fees, title insurance and loan application fees. You will also need to pay closing fees for the attorney who brokers the exchange. These fees can each run into the hundreds of dollars, so it’s important to be ready to pay them before beginning the refinance process.
You should have already built some equity in your home; the loan amount should be smaller than the value of the property, typically by about 80%.
If these terms and requirements fit your situation, you may be ready to begin the process of a refinanced home loan.
Step 1: Check if it's cost effective. Before deciding if you should refinance it makes sense to determine if you will make up the costs of the fees through the money you’re saving in your monthly payments and if your credit score is good. If the interest rates are low enough, you can save a lot.
Step 2: Use a mortgage refinance calculator, like LendingTree's. You'll get a good idea of what kind of savings you are eligible for taking into account your credit, loan amount, and property value and equity. You'll also be able to see the costs broken down, so you know what you're really paying for.
Step 3: Look into government programs for refinancing. If you are struggling to pay your original mortgage due to financial hardship, you may qualify for a HARP refinance loan. Consider if your home value is smaller than the amount you owe because of market changes, and if you can still make monthly payments on a new refinance loan.
Step 4: Shop around. Compare the best mortgage refinance lenders, their rates and how long it will take you to pay of the loans they are offering you. Shop around for the right fit and apply to the one that suits you best.
Step 5: Have cash on hand. Set aside the money you'll need for property taxes, insurance, closing costs, lawyers fees and any other financial obligations you may be required to pay upfront when you take out the mortgage refinance loan.
Step 6: Prepare for closing. Bring your photo ID, the money you need for closing and any other documents your lender requests. You have a 3 day right of cancel, should you decide this loan is not right for you.
If you have some equity in your home and are looking for rates and terms that suit your current lifestyle more than your original mortgage loan terms do, refinance might be a great fit. It's important to take into account the costs and fees, as well as the new interest rate and maturity date. If the numbers add up, refinancing can help you wind up with cash in your wallet for other expenses or with lower monthly payments.