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How does refinancing work?
Refinancing your mortgage means you pay off and replace your old home loan with a new mortgage. You’ll still typically have to pay closing costs — but refinancing may make sense if you want a lower interest rate, new loan term or to cash out equity.
Is it worth it to refinance?
Refinancing your mortgage may make sense in several situations.
You’re looking for a lower interest rate.
Maybe interest rates have fallen since you first took out your mortgage or your credit has improved, and you think you may qualify for better rates. Plus, lower rates usually mean lower monthly payments.
You’re looking for a different loan term.
You may want to convert your 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage since this can help you save money on interest over the life of the loan. But keep in mind that your monthly payment will likely be higher. On the other hand, you may want to refinance to a longer loan term with lower monthly payments — but with this option you’ll probably pay more interest over the life of the loan.
You’re looking to convert an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed rate.
With an adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM, your payments may change as interest rates change. If you don’t like this unpredictability, you may want to lock in a fixed rate instead.
You’re thinking about a cash-out refinance.
If you’ve built up equity in your home, a cash-out refinance lets you refinance your home for a greater amount than what you owe and get extra cash in return. Just remember that you’ll have to pay back the full amount, and the equity in your home will be reduced if you sell in the future.
It’s also important to calculate your “break-even point,” which is basically how long it’ll take before the amount you save each month on the new loan covers the cost of refinancing.
What are typical closing costs on a refinance?
If you refinance your mortgage, you’ll face closing costs just like you did when you took out your original home loan. The Federal Reserve states that these costs can run from 3% to 6% of the cost of the loan, though costs differ depending on the lender and state.
Here are some fees you may face at closing.
- Application fee
- Origination fee
- Points fee
- Appraisal fee
- Inspection fee
- Attorney review fee
- Homeowners insurance
- Private mortgage insurance or other mortgage insurance
- Title search or insurance fees
- Survey fee
- Prepayment penalty
Does refinancing hurt my credit?
Your credit may initially take a hit when you refinance, depending on several factors. For example, the average age of your accounts may change since you’re closing an old mortgage loan and opening a new one in its place. Your lender may also run a hard credit inquiry before approving your refinance, which could negatively affect your credit.
But making your mortgage payments on time and in full should help your credit in the long run.
Is it cheaper to refinance with my current lender?
The cost of refinancing varies based on states and lenders. And refinancing with the same lender doesn’t mean that you won’t have closing costs.
Before you lock in a refinancing deal, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare rates. You should consider your potential interest rate and closing costs to see what makes the most financial sense for you.