What is Mortgage Refinancing?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A mortgage refinancing transaction happens when you swap out an old loan for a new (ideally better) one. You pay off the old loan with the proceeds of a new one.

Benefits of Mortgage Refinancing

By refinancing, you can improve your financial situation. In particular, you can:

  • Lower monthly payment
  • Lower lifetime interest costs
  • Reduce risk
  • Get cash out for other purposes
  • Consolidate debt and possibly get tax benefits

Mortgage Refinancing Costs

Of course, mortgage refinancing is not free. You’ll pay fees to your new lender to compensate them for offering the loan. You may also pay for legal documents and filings, credit checks, appraisals, and more.

Even if a loan is advertised as a “no closing cost” loan, you’re paying those fees. Generally this happens through a higher interest rate.

Does Mortgage Refinancing Make Sense?

You need to weigh the pros and cons of your old mortgage and a new mortgage to decide. In general, mortgage refinancing is a good move when you can save money by locking in a lower interest rate or payment, shorten your loan term, or restructure debt optimally.

Once you understand the costs, evaluate how much you’ll save over time and how long it will take to recoup any up-front costs associated with mortgage refinancing. Will you keep the loan (or live in the home) long enough to make it worthwhile?

Mortgage refinancing is a good idea when you’ll truly benefit from a new loan. Some clues that it might be a good idea are:

  • Interest rates are low
  • Your credit has improved since you got your first loan
  • You will keep the loan for a long time
  • You can avoid getting stung by a high risk mortgage
  • You can get an amortizing loan instead of an interest only loan


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