What is the difference between a mortgage and a refinance?

Refinances allow you to change the terms of your original mortgage, which you may want to do for a variety of reasons. Purchase mortgages and refinancing are mortgage loans, but they serve very different purposes.

What is the difference between a mortgage and a refinance?

Refinances allow you to change the terms of your original mortgage, which you may want to do for a variety of reasons. Purchase mortgages and refinancing are mortgage loans, but they serve very different purposes. A purchase mortgage is a type of loan that homebuyers apply for to finance the purchase of a new home. A refinance mortgage is the process homeowners go through to change the rate and terms of the mortgage.

When you refinance your mortgage, you replace your current mortgage with a new loan. The new loan can have different terms, ranging from 30 to 15 years or an adjustable rate at a fixed rate, for example, but the most common change is a lower interest rate. Refinancing can allow you to lower your monthly payment, save money in interest over the life of your loan, pay off your mortgage sooner, and take advantage of your home equity if you need cash for any purpose. A refinance and purchase mortgage without proper understanding can make it difficult for you to make the right decision.

Learning about these two options will help you make an informed decision. Mortgage refinancing allows you to change your current mortgage rates. A purchase mortgage, on the other hand, refers to the initial funds you use to finance a home you've purchased. Refinancing involves applying for a new home loan to replace the one you already have.

This rule does not apply to FHA loans, which generally require mortgage insurance (MIP) premiums throughout the life of the loan. This strategy can mimic a shorter mortgage term without requiring the closing costs and underwriting problems associated with an entirely new loan. Homeowners can access a Streamline Refinance loan if their current mortgage is federally backed, including FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. While different lenders may set their own requirements (sometimes including appraisals and credit approval), the general guidelines for simplified refinancing are as follows.

And homeowners who use the program to refinance are limited to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; ARMs are not allowed. You can save month-to-month with a lower monthly payment or pay less interest overall due to a lower mortgage rate or a shorter loan term. Next, mortgage analysts will prepare new loan disclosures for the homeowner and package your file for review by the insurer. The new loan is used to pay off your current mortgage balance, and the “leftover” money is the amount you are collecting.

Think carefully before taking out a cash out loan to invest, since it doesn't make much sense to deposit your funds on a certificate of deposit (CD) that generates 1.58% or even 2.5% when the mortgage interest is 3.9%. As your finances improve, you'll likely have access to better mortgage options than you had when you bought your home. They can guide you to make better decisions by establishing the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing your mortgage. Refinancing comes with closing costs, which can affect whether getting a new mortgage makes financial sense for you.

When this occurs, the conversion to a fixed-rate mortgage results in a lower interest rate and eliminates concerns about future interest rate hikes.

Rosanne Axtell
Rosanne Axtell

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

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