With mortgage rates so low, many of our customers have asked if it’s a good time to refinance, especially amid the pandemic. Our answer? It depends. Let’s take a look at when it may make sense to refinance, and when it may not be your best option.
When refinancing may make sense for you.
- You’d like to reduce your monthly payment. One of the most common reasons our customers refinance is to lower their interest rate as a way to reduce their monthly payment – putting more cash in their pockets each month. Use this calculator to see if refinancing makes sense for you. And did you know that if your credit score has improved since you closed on your mortgage, you may get an even better rate? It may be worth your time to find out where you stand and what options are available for a refinance.
- You’d like to pay less interest on your loan by shortening its term. If you qualify for a 15-year or 20-year mortgage and can manage a larger monthly payment, you’ll make fewer payments over time, reducing the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. Compare terms and see your estimated monthly payment using this calculator. (NOTE: You can also pay off your mortgage faster by making additional payments (or principal-only payments) on your mortgage or changing to a bi-weekly payment schedule. Use this calculator to compare hypothetical payoff schedules.
- You’d like to use the equity in your home for other purposes. If the value of your home has increased or you’ve paid down a large portion of your loan, you may consider a cash-out refinance. With this type of refinancing, you’ll apply for a new mortgage for more than what you owe on your existing mortgage and receive the additional funds at closing. Then you can use these funds however you desire – improving your home, financing a large purchase, or even helping with college expenses. (NOTE: You may also use a home equity loan or line of credit for this purpose. Learn more about home equity loans.
- You’d like a more predictable monthly mortgage payment. If your adjustment-rate mortgage is about to change, you may want to convert it to a fixed-rate mortgage. That way, your payments stay the same over the life of your loan.
When refinancing may NOT make sense for you
- You’d have to extend the loan term to lower your payment. Extending your loan term will probably reduce your monthly payment; however, you may also pay more interest over the life of your loan. In some cases, though, extending your loan term may make sense, especially if you need more cash available right now to manage your budget. Be sure to speak with one of our bank lenders about your situation before you do anything.
- You’d have to pay more fees to refinance than long-term savings. You’ll typically pay fees to refinance — closing costs, an origination fee, an application fee, an appraisal fee, among others. While some of these fees will be offset by the money you’ll save refinancing, that may not always be the case. If you find the costs are more than you’d like to pay, you may want to consider a home equity loan or line of credit instead of refinancing.
Ready to get started?
If refinancing makes sense for you, we’re ready to help. Talk to a bank lender today to get started.
IMPORTANT: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are dealing with a higher than normal loan demand, which means the approval process may take longer than usual. Please be patient as we try to help all our customers get the financial help they need.