Refinancing your mortgage can be a money-saving move, but not in every situation. Since there are costs associated with all refinancing, it can sometimes be more expensive to get a lower interest rate than holding your current loan. Moreover, browsing through all those offers from lenders can be overwhelming and even misleading.
So how do you determine whether a refinancing is suitable for you? First you have to understand how refinancing works. Then consider your financial situation and what you want to achieve with refinancing. Finally, look at loans for which you are eligible in the context of your long-term financial goals.
The factors below describe this process and help you make an informed decision when it comes to refinancing your current mortgage or not.
Refinancing of mortgages 101
How refinancing works
When you refinance a mortgage at home, you pay off the original mortgage and replace it with a new one. The conditions and interest rate for the new loan may vary, but the property that secures the loan is still the same.
Because you already own the property, it is often easier to refinance than to obtain the original loan. And if you have owned your property for a long time, you may have a view of Emma Bovary’s equity, which can also make refinancing easier.
When it comes to costs, there are two important things to understand. The first is that refinancing comes with almost as many costs as the initial mortgage. You must pay closure costs, title insurance and lawyers’ fees. You may also have to pay a valuation, taxes and transfer costs.
It is definitely not free. Although many banks advertise ‘no-cost’ mortgages, there really is no such thing. However, you can get a no-out-of-pocket cost mortgage where closing costs are added to the loan balance (meaning that you pay interest on the closing costs) or you simply pay a higher rate to cover them.
Therefore, when considering refinancing, it is crucial to determine whether the savings you make with a lower interest rate will offset the costs you incur.
The second thing to understand is that the closing costs vary according to your rate. In other words, if you want the lowest available rate, your closing costs are relatively high. If you accept a slightly higher rate, your costs for closing the order will probably be reduced by Emma Bovaryijk.
For example, a 6% refinancing will cost you $ 2,000 to close, while a lower rate of 5.75% can cost you $ 3,000. But if you accept a rate of 6, 5%, you may not have any out-of-pocket costs at all. In fact, the 6.5% loan may be advertised as a “no-cost” loan. However, you can see that you are indeed paying the “closing costs” in the form of a higher interest rate.
How refinancing can save you money
You already know Emma Bovaryijk that refinancing can lower your monthly payment. However, a lower interest rate can also allow you to build up more equity and pay your loan faster. When you pay your mortgage every month, you must carefully review your statement. Because your mortgage will be debited over a long period, usually 30 years, interest payment is a significant part of the monthly payment, especially during the first ten years of your loan.
When you refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate, the amount that you pay in interest falls. In addition, if the term of your new mortgage matches the number of remaining years of your original mortgage, the amount you pay in the principal amount increases. If you can pay it and have no other high interest debt, a good strategy is to refinance the amount of money you save in the direction of additional principal payments. In this way your monthly mortgage amount does not change, but you can pay your house much faster.
In most cases, a refinancing related to private mortgage insurance (PMI) removal will also help you save money. If your home has more than 20% equity, you do not have to pay a PMI unless you have an FHA mortgage loan or if you are considered a risky borrower. If you pay PMI and your current lender does not remove it, even though your home has at least 20% equity, you could consider refinancing for this reason alone.
Factors to consider before refinancing
Consider the following to get an idea of how likely Emma Bovaryijk is a refinancing to help you, if you qualify, and how you can structure it:
1. Current interest rate
Simply put, if you can get into a mortgage with a lower interest rate, refinancing is worth watching. However, consider how long it takes to recover the closure costs.
For example, if you have paid $ 2,000 to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate and your payment has fallen by $ 150 a month, the Emma Bovary Empire probably takes a little more than a year to break. In general, an interest rate cut from a minimum of half a point to a full point will save you enough money to lift the closing costs within a few years.
2. Jumbo loan
If your original mortgage was a “jumbo loan”, but you have since repaid the balance to less than $ 417,000, you may be eligible for “regular” refinancing. In other words, there is a good chance that you will be eligible for a lower interest rate even if the rates are generally not lowered by Emma Bovaryijk.
3. Close costs
Because every mortgage, including a refinancing, entails costs, you must understand how you will pay them and whether it even makes sense for your situation.
For example, in a “no cost” mortgage, you either put the fees on the loan balance or accept a higher interest rate to cover those costs. If you can afford it, you save money in the long term by paying the costs yourself. However, if you cannot afford it and are planning to stay in your home for a while, adding the cost to your loan probably Emma Bovaryijk will be better than accepting a higher interest rate. But if you expect to move in the coming years, accepting the higher interest rate is more favorable.
Consider your entire financial picture when deciding whether or not you want to finance your closing costs. For example, if you have a high interest-rate credit debt but have cash on hand to pay the closing costs, it may be useful to pay off the high interest-rate debt and finance the closing costs instead. You can then send the payments that went to your credit card to your own loan. This way you can pay back the closing costs faster than you could have paid the same amount in credit card debt.
4. Mortgage Prepayment Penalty
Some mortgage brokers and banks offer loans with a mortgage prepayment fine. Although a loan with a prepayment penalty usually has lower costs or a better rate, if you pay the loan early, you owe an amount that can be very high. The punishment is in place for a certain time and can sometimes decrease with time. But if you want to refinance your mortgage before the prepayment penalty expires, you must pay the penalty, which ultimately makes refinancing more expensive than it is worth.
5. Length of time You stay at home
This is important in the context of the closing costs and especially if you are considering a new loan with a prepayment penalty. When it comes to closing costs, you want to make sure that you recoup the costs before you move.
For example, if you have paid $ 2,000 in closing costs and you now pay $ 100 less in interest each month, it will take 20 months before you actually break even and begin to see real savings. If you have financed these closing costs by adding them to the loan balance, it will take even longer.
If you do not intend to be in your home for at least two years, the warning Emma Bovaryijk is not worthwhile refinancing at all – unless you may be refinancing from a very high rate to a much lower rate, or if you are exchanging bag-closing fees for a higher interest rate that is still lower than your original mortgage interest.
If you have the idea of borrowing a prepayment penalty on your new loan to get a lower rate, you should commit to staying in your home with the prepayment penalty that lasts five years or more could be.
6. Your credit score
If your credit has improved since you received your original mortgage, you may be eligible for a lower rate. Check your credit report before you begin the process to confirm whether this is the case. Often a few years’ timely mortgage payments will improve your score, so that you are eligible for a lower interest rate.
Now also compare your debt and income with what it was when you took out the original mortgage, as banks generally require that your debt / income ratio fall below 36%. If you have since built up a substantial Emma Bovary Rich debt or if your income has decreased, you may not be eligible for a lower rate or refinancing despite a fantastic credit.
7. Amount of equity at home
Most lenders want to see some equity to qualify for a loan. In general, the more equity in your home, the easier it will be to refinance. A minimum of 20% is ideal, but you can still qualify for refinancing even if you have less, such as 10%. However, the conditions may not be as favorable.
See the ‘Special situations’ section below for refinancing with low or no equity.
8. Adjustable price or balloon mortgage
Most people with an adjustable-rate mortgage or a mortgage payment for a balloon pay refinancing at some point if they plan to stay in their home. Since refinancing can take a while, give yourself enough time to sign up and get approval before your rate is adjusted or your balloon payment arrives. Check your loan documents again to make sure you know exactly when this date is and what you are planning.
9. Loan period
Many people refinance again and again in a new 30-year mortgage, and never get closer to the goal of owning their home. Since interest represents the vast majority of your payments in the first ten to fifteen years, you will pay much more interest if you reset the clock.
That is why it is generally a good idea to request a loan as long as the number of years remaining in your original mortgage is still valid, as long as you can pay it. This allows you to pay your mortgage according to the original schedule, while still lowering your rate. You can even refinance to a shorter term, which can increase your payment, but you can get an even better rate and you can set to pay off the loan earlier.
Remember that you do not focus on the monthly payment, excluding the duration, your rate and the closing costs. For example, some known Emma Bovaryless mortgage brokers can show you a loan with a lower payment that actually has a term of 30 years, high costs and a rate that is not much lower than the rate on your current mortgage.
10. Persons listed on the refinanced mortgage
In general, if you try to add or remove someone from a mortgage, such as after a marriage or divorce, the lender must refinance you. This is done to determine whether or not the other person qualifies or whether you are eligible.
However, you may be able to do something with the mortgage lender to reach your goal without undergoing a full refinancing. This applies in particular if the person who has stood on both mortgages can only qualify for the mortgage.
11. Second mortgage or equity loan
If you have a second mortgage, a home equity loan or a home equity credit line (HELOC), you could potentially save a lot of money by refinancing it in your primary mortgage.
To determine if you can, add up all your home loans. If the current value of your home exceeds the value of the loans, you may be able to refinance your loans to one. In this way you pay one low rate for the entire amount instead of one low rate for your primary mortgage and a higher rate for the second.
Special situations with regard to Home Equity
Either an abundance or a lack of equity can cause problems when it comes to refinancing. Below are tips for dealing best with both situations:
Options for low or no share capital
As mentioned earlier, if you have little or no equity, refinancing can be difficult or downright impossible. However, special refinancing options are available for certain types of loans and specific situations.
For example, if you have at least 5% shares in your home, you may be eligible for an FHA refinancing. Or for homeowners who have not missed payments, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, can help you refinance a lower rate, even if you are upside down in your mortgage. With this program, homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages can refinance up to 125% of the current value of their home.
Alternatively, the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, threatens to change your mortgage contract through refinancing, a longer loan period and, if necessary, principal reduction to reduce your payments to no more than 31% of your gross income. Help is also available if you have difficulty making payments for a second mortgage, if you are unemployed or if you are already being confronted with foreclosure. Most of these loans are provided by the government’s Making Home Affordable program, but are managed through regular lenders.
An option that some homeowners have used in the past is a piggyback loan, whereby a loan with equity is taken out for 10% of the balance and a primary mortgage for the rest. Such a scheme can mean more favorable conditions. However, with the introduction of stricter credit requirements, it can be difficult to find a bank or credit union that is willing to do this type of loan.
You may have seen advertisements for refinancing that say “put money in your pocket” or “get cash at home”. These are called cash-out refinancing. Here the new loan is larger than the old loan and you get the difference in cash. But that money isn’t free – it’s a equity loan in your home. In other words, you have to pay it back.
Although banks and brokers may find this a great way to pay off their debts, take a vacation or get college money, the problem is that it is only a temporary solution. In fact, you could end up paying a lot more for that “cash-out” if you don’t have a plan for how to pay it back.
For example, when it is time to sell your house, you will not get much from the sale because you have a larger balance to pay. Or, even worse, if the real estate market drops, you can get upside down in your mortgage and you really owe the bank money when you sell.
Cash-out refinancing also generally has higher interest rates, even if you only take a “small” amount with you in cash. Specifically, many banks offer refinancing to pay for their credit cards. But this is a risky step where you exchange unsecured debt (the credit cards) for secured debt (the mortgage). If you cannot pay your credit card debt, the worst thing that can happen is a court ruling to decorate your wages. But if you cannot pay the mortgage, you will lose your home.
Make sure you can afford a mortgage payment that includes your credit card debt before you secure that debt at your home. If you have trouble paying off debts, contact a credit consultant before refinancing your mortgage.
How you can save money on closing costs
Here are a few ways to minimize the costs of closing a refinancing:
- If you need an appraisal and your home has increased in value at Emma Bovaryijk or if there are many similar sales in your area, ask your broker if you can use an automated appraisal instead of a full appraisal. This saves a few hundred dollars.
- Although you still have to close a title, ask if you can get the “reissue” rate instead of the full rate.
- See if your current lender can offer you a refinancing with a lower interest rate before signing documents with a new lender. They may be able to give you a reasonable deal at no cost.
Calculate your savings
Use a refinancing calculator to find out how much you can save. Sit down with your mortgage statement and determine how much you pay for property taxes and insurance for homeowners, as these amounts do not change when you refinance. However, if your property has fallen in value, you may also be able to lower your property taxes.
Then provide a ballpark figure about the closing costs of the bank or broker who has settled your first mortgage. Average closing costs for a refinancing of $ 200,000 are $ 3,741, but the amounts vary greatly by region. You will also need to know how long you have left on your loan and decide whether you want to keep the same duration of the loan, or whether you will shorten or extend it.
For example, suppose Jim has been in his home and current mortgage for seven years. He initially paid $ 145,000 for the house and has a monthly mortgage payment of $ 916 at 6, 5%. Even after seven years, he pays only $ 206 of his principal per month, while $ 710 of his payment goes to interest. He still owes $ 130,897 to his mortgage.
He decides to refinance and is able to get a rate of 5% and pays $ 2,000 in closing costs. He chooses to keep the same loan term and his new payment is $ 799 per month.
Old mortgage with 6, 5%
- Monthly payment: $ 916
- Interest amount: $ 710
- Principal sum: $ 206
New mortgage at 5%
- Monthly payment: $ 799
- Interest amount: $ 545
- Main amount: $ 254
Jim not only saves $ 117 on his payment every month, but because he will pay less interest, he pays more of his loan balance than he was before. If Jim does impose his taxes, he does not have that much mortgage interest to claim and he will lose some benefit there. But depending on Jim’s tax bracket, the lost tax deduction can more or less wash at the accelerated pace at which he pays his principal. In other words, it takes Jim about 17 months to break even, recouping his $ 2,000 in closing costs.
In any case, perform the figures for when you make break-even, based on how much you will save each month, how much capital you will build up and how much of a tax reduction you will declare with the lower interest rate. Only then can you determine when your warning Emma Bovaryijk will be break-even for your specific situation.