Mortgage interest rates have been creeping up from their historic lows over the past few months, but they are still extremely low. That means refinancing remains a great option for those looking to save money. However, even as rates climb, there are plenty of other good reasons to refinance. Here is an long list of the uses for refinancing your mortgage:
- To Get a Lower Rate
Always number one on the list, if you can get a lower interest rate, you could save hundreds on mortgage payments a year and thousands over the course of your loan. Typically, your new rate should be at least one percentage point lower than your existing rate for you to realize long-term savings, but there may be some exceptions.
- To Shorten Your Loan
Maybe you’re not looking for immediate savings, but you are more concerned with the long-term. You could refinance from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage to force you to aggressively pay off your loan and be mortgage-free in a shorter period of time.
- To Get a Different Type of Loan
If you started out with something like an FHA loan (low down payments but permanent mortgage insurance), you might want refinance to get into a more favorable product like a conventional loan.
- Your Credit Profile Has Improved
If your credit score was low or your debt was high when you applied for your current mortgage, you may have had to accept higher interest rates or other stringent requirements. If your financial outlook has improved, you might be able to refinance and get a less expensive loan with better terms.
- To Remove a Second Mortgage
If you have multiple loans on your property (second loan, home equity loans, HELOC) and you are ready to have one payment, refinancing can consolidate both loans into one (hopefully lower rate) mortgage.
- To Stretch Out Your Loan
Maybe you really need to save on your monthly loan payments. Refinancing into a new 30-year loan (or longer) will reset your amortization schedule and help make your monthly bill more manageable.
- To Switch Out of an ARM
Adjustable rate mortgages start out with a low fixed rate for a short time after which it can rise (or fall) based on market indexes. If you’re worried about making payments after your initial period expires, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan could solve the problem.
- To Switch Into an ARM
If current rates are low, you plan to move in a few years, or you need more wiggle room in your mortgage budget, refinancing into an ARM loan will lower your monthly payment for a while.
- To Get Out of an Interest-Only Loan
Very popular during the housing boom of the early 2000s, these loans only require borrowers to pay the monthly interest due each month for a certain time, after which the loan is recast and they have to make much larger monthly payments. If you’re approaching that deadline, a refinance into a more traditional product could save you money.
- To Make Use of Interest-Only Savings
If you have a ton of home equity and you need extra money now, you could refinance into an interest-only loan and use the monthly payment savings for your other needs.
- To Pull Out Equity
You could also pull out a big chunk of that equity with a cash-out refinance. The money can be used for whatever you like: student loans, debt consolidation, wedding costs, home improvements, or even investments.
- To Become the Sole Homeowner
In the case of divorce or to release your parents as co-signers, you may need to refinance to get someone else off the title.
- To Apply a Lump Sum and Re-amortize
If you’ve saved up a big chunk of money or inherited a large sum, you may consider refinancing to significantly bring down your loan balance while simultaneously lowering your monthly payments.
Phew! That's a lot of reasons to refinance. There are still more reasons to refinance your mortgage loan but these are the most common.
If you are thinking about refinancing your mortgage, give us a call today!