Everything You Need to Know About Housing Loan Refinancing

Refinancing is when a homeowner obtains a new home loan to replace their current one. Learn how refinancing works and its benefits such as saving money on interest payments and taking advantage of home equity.

Everything You Need to Know About Housing Loan Refinancing

Refinancing is when a homeowner obtains a new home loan to replace their current loan. The new loan should help them save money or meet other financial requirements. Refinancing is a great way to save money, pay off your mortgage sooner, and take advantage of your home equity. In this article, we'll explain how refinancing works, provide an example of refinancing, discuss the benefits of refinancing, and list the types of refinance loans available.

When you refinance your mortgage, you replace your current mortgage with a new loan. The new loan can have different terms, such as a lower interest rate, a shorter loan term, or an adjustable rate at a fixed rate. Refinancing can allow you to lower your monthly payment, save money on interest during the life of your loan, pay off your mortgage sooner, and take advantage of your home equity if you need cash for any purpose. When you refinance, it means that you're basically taking out a new loan for your property, often for the rest of what you owe (but not always).

Ideally, this new loan should have better terms than the previous one. This depends on several factors, such as the amount of equity you have in the house (that is, the amount of the loan you have already repaid) and what your credit score is when you apply. Whether you should refinance or not depends on whether doing so will save you enough money. Analyzing interest rates, closing costs, and how many years you'll stay in your home will help you determine your potential savings. A home refinance replaces your current home loan with a new one.

Often, people refinance to lower the interest rate, cut monthly payments, or take advantage of the net value of their home. Others refinance a home to repay the loan faster, get rid of FHA mortgage insurance, or switch from an adjustable rate loan to a fixed-rate loan. Your home equity refers to the value you have accumulated in your home by repaying your current loan balance and through the appreciation of the value of your home over time. A shorter loan term, for example, can save money on the total interest paid to the lender over the life of the loan. Therefore, you should consider whether the amount you would save with a lower interest rate outweighs the cost of buying points within the time you plan to keep the loan. Refinancing an ARM loan to a fixed-rate loan provides financial stability when stable payments are preferred.

Depending on the interest rate you qualify for, this could change your monthly budget only slightly and help you pay off your loan faster. But you can also refinance with a new type of loan, shorten the loan term to liquidate the home ahead of time, or withdraw the home equity. You can refinance a giant loan, but you should expect stricter underwriting standards compared to compliant, government-backed loans. With a cash refinance, you make a one-time payment to lower the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), which reduces your total debt burden, potentially reduces your monthly payment, and could also help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Since refinancing can cost between 3% and 6% of the principal of a loan and requires an appraisal, title search and application fees like an original mortgage does, it is important for homeowners to determine if refinancing is a wise financial decision. A homeowner whose current loan already has a competitive interest rate can still save by paying more on the principal balance.

A home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) borrows against the home equity and keeps your current home loan intact. The answer to this question depends on the type of loan you are taking out and the mortgage investor in the loan.

Rosanne Axtell
Rosanne Axtell

An animal lover. Infuriatingly humble pop culture aficionado. Incurable social media advocate. Unapologetic web expert.

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