Mortgage refinancing is a process in which a homeowner replaces an existing mortgage with a new, better loan from a different lender. The new lender repays the existing mortgage debt to the original loan provider. The borrower is then left with just one mortgage loan, repayable to the new lender. Here are a few benefits to refinancing your mortgage:
Reduction in the rate of interest: Many people consider the rate of interest to be as relevant as the monthly payment. In fact, the rate of interest can make a lot of difference on the total money paid to the lender to get rid of the debt. Many people seek to refinance their mortgage and take advantage of the reduced mortgage refinance rates. Taking advantage of the super low interest rates due to the current mortgage crisis is just plain smart.
Reducing mortgage term: Many homeowners prefer to pay off their mortgage faster to build up home equity quicker. If your income is good and you can afford to pay a higher monthly payment, it is better to increase the monthly payment and reduce the term of the loan, so that you finish paying off the mortgage faster. Reducing the term of the mortgage can generate rich dividends in the form of home equity.
Increase mortgage term: Many homeowners feel their current mortgage payment is too high and would prefer to reduce the payment. By reducing the payment they prolong the duration of repayment, increasing the applicable rate of interest and mortgage term.
Taking the benefits of equity: In many cases homeowners have been paying their mortgage payments for a considerable time. Usually the prices of the property appreciate, and when a major part of the mortgage has been repaid the increased home equity can be used to generate cash. The process of generating money this way is also called ‘cash out refinance’. The debtor can use this cash to get rid of other debts and financial obligations. The interest rate for a refinanced home loan is also lower than that applicable for unsecured debts and loans.
Conversion of mortgage type: There are two main types of mortgages; Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) and Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM). Adjustable Rate Mortgages feature reduced monthly payments in the starting years of the term, but as the term advances (especially when there is an economic recession) the rate of interest hikes. Because of high monthly payments and increasing interest rates many homeowners switch to a Fixed Rate Mortgage. Switching to a fixed rate makes monthly payments predictable and affordable and stops rate increases.
Helpful tips for refinancing your home
Know your target refinance interest rate — Your target refinance rate is the lowest interest rate that saves you the most money. You can calculate your target interest rate by first dividing your refinancing closing costs by the amount of annual savings you’ll receive by refinancing. Now compare this number to the number of years you plan on having your mortgage. Refinancing is a good deal if you’ll still be in the home after the breakeven year has passed.
Complete the full loan application — To be sure you are a qualified homebuyer you should complete a full loan application and give all your documentation to your loan officer for a complete review of your credit, income, and assets. In doing so, you’ll save yourself time and trouble down the road. The latest underwriting rules make this the new, most important step of the loan process. Throughout the mortgage crisis, many mortgage lenders used a short credit prequalification method, which come back to bite many applicants.
Some Good Reasons to Look into Mortgage Refinance
As we all know, there are times when we wind up looking for extra money to either pay bills, start business, do some home renovations or simply look to lower our mortgage rate. In cases like these looking at mortgage refinance is one of the best decisions we can make.
In fact, by refinancing your home you not only have the opportunity to get a better interest rate but you can also either lengthen or shorten the amount of time left on your term. For instance, if you want to reduce the amount of your monthly payment, you would look into lengthening the term of your mortgage. Conversely, if you decide that you want your mortgage paid off quicker than you would look into shortening the term. In short, the main reason that you want to do it mortgage refinance is for the added flexibility that you can get both regarding your mortgage and regarding your budget as a whole. Something else to think about is that you can use the cash from your this to help pay off or pay down consumer debt faster so that you can enjoy your life debt and worry free.
However, there are a few things that you may want to consider before you go ahead and pursue mortgage refinance. First of all you will need to do some number crunching to find the interest rate that would save you the most money. This just means you go into the negotiation with a firm idea as to the best rate for you and your budget. The easiest way to do this is to use a mortgage.
One thing you also want to do is have your home appraisal independently. Not only will this save you time, it is essential to make sure that you will actually get the refinancing that you want. Getting a mortgage refinance is one of the best things that you can do however, you need to make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into and be sure that it will ultimately benefit you in the end.
One final thing to consider regarding mortgage refinance is that although waiting for low interest rate can be a good idea, it is important not to wait too long as you may very well see the interest rates go up again.
Don’t get greedy on the interest rate — One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when refinancing is waiting too long for a lower rate, only to see the rates rise unexpectedly. Take advantage of market volatility and lock in your loan. If you know your target rate, lock it in as soon as that rate is available. When rates are nearing your target, contact your lender so you are both ready to do so.
Have your home appraised — In order to qualify for refinancing, the assessed value of your property has to exceed, or be even with the loan amount you are trying to get. With the real estate market as it is right now, it would be wise for you to get an appraiser to give you an assessment to make sure your house value is high enough.