Loan Refinancing

Loan Refinancing

While it's not a great time to refinance due to rising interest rates, you could still consider refinancing if you want to tap your home's equity. Here's how refinancing works and what options might be available to you.

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What is Loan Refinancing?

Refinancing a loan allows a borrower to substitute their existing debt obligation with one that has more favorable terms. Through this process, a borrower takes out a new loan to pay off their current debt, and the updated agreement replaces the terms of the old loan. This enables borrowers to redo their loans for a lower monthly payment, different term lengths, or a more convenient payment structure. Most consumer lenders who offer conventional loans also offer refinancing options. However, refinancing loans tend to come with slightly higher interest rates than purchase loans for products like mortgages and car loans.

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Refinancing once
Credit check
Refinancing is a long process
When it makes sense

Refinancing once

Myth

You can only refinance your mortgage once.

Fact

There’s no limit to how many times you can refinance your mortgage. However, the fees are substantial, so it pays to ensure each refinancing makes sense. Use a refinance calculator to see if this is a route you want to take.

Credit check

Myth

You won’t need a credit check.

Fact

Credit plays a significant role in your ability to get refinancing. However, borrowers with an excellent credit profile are rewarded with the lowest interest rates.

Refinancing is a long process

Myth

Refinancing is a lot of work that requires a lot of time.

Fact

Refinancing can be time-consuming and complex for those doing it by themselves. However, working with the right mortgage lender can make the entire process faster and easier.

When refinancing makes sense

Myth

It doesn’t make sense if it doesn't save money.

Fact

Something borrowers need to look out for when refinancing are break costs. Break costs occur when someone on a fixed rate home loan ‘breaks’ their fixed rate loan before completion or exceeds the maximum allowed amount of extra repayments.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Myth

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is always the best choice

Fact

If you can afford higher payments, you can own your home outright in less time and for less money with a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

How a Refinance Works

Consumers generally seek to refinance certain debt obligations to obtain more favorable borrowing terms, often in response to shifting economic conditions. Common goals of refinancing are to lower one's fixed interest rate to lower payments over the life of the loan, to change the term of the loan, or switch from a fixed-rate mortgage to an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or vice versa.

Borrowers may also refinance because their credit profile has improved, because of modifications to their long-term financial plans, or to pay off their existing debts by consolidating them into one low-priced loan.

What are some of the common reasons to Refinance?

Refinancing requires work, so is it worth the extra paperwork and costs? On the other hand, there are some great reasons to invest the time and money in a refinance:

  • You can get a lower interest rate. — The most prominent reason to refinance is the prospect of lowering your interest rate. Whether your credit has improved dramatically since you first secured your mortgage or the market has evolved, access to a lower interest rate can save you lots of money throughout the loan. In today's climate, you're unlikely to save greatly unless you got your original mortgage ten years ago.
  • You can get a different kind of loan. — Maybe you want to substitute the uncertainty of an adjustable-rate mortgage with a fixed-rate mortgage, or you're hoping to stop paying FHA mortgage insurance by switching to a traditional loan. Refinancing permits you to explore all kinds of home loans to find an alternative that works better for your finances.
  • You can use your equity to borrow more money. — Refinancing might help you access more funds and save money. Cash-out refinancing allows you to leverage your accumulated equity to borrow a more significant sum. It can help you secure funding for substantial expenditures at a relatively low-interest rate.
  • You can shorten your loan. — If you currently have 20 years left on a 30-year mortgage, you might want to refinance into a 15-year loan for a long-term savings opportunity. Your monthly payments could go up, but you'll settle your home loan quickly.

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