Select Page

Many homeowners come to consider mortgage refinancing at some point for several reasons. Refinancing is replacing the original mortgage with a new one, usually to get better loan rates or terms. Maybe you are halfway through your first loan repayment and thinking of taking out another loan, but how do you do it? Because of all the processes that homeowners have to undergo the first time, many believe that refinancing is a breeze- you just talk to the right people and sign a document or two, and you are done. However, a refinance demands just as much work as the original mortgage.

Why Refinance

Before approaching your lender for another loan, find out why you need it. There are instances where homeowners refinance and end up worse off than they were with the first loan. A rate or term refinance is one that lowers the monthly interests and payment agreement of your current loan. This refinancing works if the present home loan rates have gone down compared to when you first took out the mortgage, meaning most lenders are offering better interests. A refinancing can also be cash-out where you get a bigger loan than your current mortgage debt, which means you can repay it and use the difference for a large purchase like a car or home renovation.

You can also refinance to shorten the length of the term. Your existing loan could be for thirty years, yet you have only paid five. If so, you can approach a lender and get a loan for twenty or fifteen years. A refinance can also be used to get rid of mortgage insurance. When you have a home that has spiked in worth and paid off some of the loan debt such that it is lower than 80% of the property’s appraised value, refinancing will not require mortgage insurance. You can also refinance when you want to switch from one lending institution to another.

Know the Home Value

Once you have determined your refinancing objectives, check the market for your home’s current value. With a few online searches and opinions from property experts, you can learn if your home has risen in worth. For instance, you can start thinking about a cash-out refinance when your home doesn’t have enough value to grant you equity to borrow against.

Check Your Credit

Since the last time you got a mortgage, how has your credit score improved? Lenders apply the same rules just as when you were asking for the first loan. If your payments have been consistent and timely, then you won’t have problems. Of course, a high credit score gets you good interest rates. It is more profitable to wait a while to improve your credit score instead of refinancing with a bad one.

Calculate the Costs

Online mortgage calculators are useful in this instance. Don’t start shopping for a new loan before knowing what it will cost you. Maybe your current mortgage was taken out six or seven years ago, meaning a few things have changed. The title search, application charges, and attorney fees are just a few of the expenses that will determine the overall costs of your mortgage, so make sure you learn about them. Mortgage calculators can help you approximate all this and give you an idea of the payments and the period it will take to break even.

Shop for Mortgages

Presently, homeowners have numerous mortgage products that cater to a broad range of needs. With the knowledge of how much your home is worth and the amount you seek, look for lenders with the best offers. A refinancing doesn’t always have to be by your current lender but start with them and see if they are willing to negotiate better terms. Get loan estimates from at least three lending institutions for comparison. These quotes should include all the details of the mortgage, plus costs.

Collect Documents

Once you have decided on the lender, find out the paperwork that accompanies the process. Make certain you can gather the necessary documents and present them in time. For people who have most of their financial transactions online, get printable documents and download statements, among other things.

Get a Legal Professional

Some of the paperwork can be a bit complicated with sections that you don’t comprehend. Don’t sign a contract unless all the terms are clear and the implications of not fulfilling them are well laid out. Some workers loop themselves into unfavorable contracts all because they don’t want to spend on a lawyer. Find a property attorney to clarify some of the aspects.

Cash in hand is needed to clear some of the closing costs such as property taxes and insurance, so be sure to budget for them. With proper planning and consideration, a loan refinance can be very effective in reducing your current payment rates and interests. Also, check with lenders about restrictions or regulations about refinancing before you apply. Whatever your motivation for refinancing is, know how to time it. Waiting a few months may prove more sensible than rushing into it.