How To Decide On Your Best Refinance Options

How To Decide On Your Best Refinance Options

Choosing the right refinance mortgage for you

When you determine it’s time to refinance, you might be amazed that you have numerous types of refinances at your disposal.

Your refinance depends upon factors such as:

  • Type of loan that you have at the moment
  • Your home value compared to loan balance
  • Whether or not you are still paying mortgage insurance


Conventional Refinance

A conventional loan is wonderful for people who have decent credit and a good amount of equity in their homes. With conventional financing, mortgage insurance with 20% equity is not required. You can refinance into a conventional loan no matter what kind of loan you have currently.


FHA Streamline Refinance

FHA loan holders could consider a FHA streamline refinance. Going from FHA to FHA requires much less paperwork and a new appraisal or income verification are not required.



HARP loans are high-LTV loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and offered by local lenders. If your loan was started before to June 2009 and you have little to no equity, a HARP loan may be the refinance option for you.


VA Streamline

A Existing VA streamline refinance replaces a VA loan with another VA loan with a lower rate. It’s called a “streamline” loan it requires no appraisal, and no verification of employment, income, or assets to qualify.


USDA Streamline

If you have a USDA mortgage, you can refinance at any time without having to complete a new appraisal. This program is now available in all 50 states.


Cash-Out Loans

Cash-out loans are simply you taking out the equity of your home in the form of cash and rolling the balance into a new loan for a larger amount. At closing, the difference is forwarded to you.

Conventional cash-out: Using conventional lenders to tap into your home’s equity

Cash out a rental property: Using equity from your existing investment property, you can grow your real estate portfolio.

Home equity line of credit: Not sure if you should get a cash-out loan or a home equity line of credit? It all depends on whether or not you plan to leave your first mortgage intact.

FHA cash-out: Your loan type is of no bearing to be eligible for a FHA cash-out. You are eligible for a cash-out up to 85% of your home’s value.

VA cash-out: Qualified military veterans are eligible for a new loan up to 100% of their home’s value. Proceeds can be taken as cash or used to pay off debt. You can also refinance out of any loan utilizing a VA cash-out loan.


7 methods for getting an improved refinance rate

1. Raise your home’s equity

By boosting your home equity, you produce a lower loan-to-value ratio (LTV). This is actually the amount that you’re borrowing as a portion of your home’s value. The key to getting approved for a refinance is LTV — and obtaining a lower interest rate — because lenders consider loans with low LTVs less risky.

You will find 3 ways to improve your LTV.

  1. Reduce your mortgage
  2. Complete renovations
  3. Wait for similar homes to sell in your neighborhood

According to Fannie Mae, cutting your mortgage from 71 percent LTV to 70 percent could drop your rate by 125 basis points (0.125%). That’s a savings of $8,000 over the life of a $300,000 loan. If your LTV is just above of any five-percentage-point tier, attempt to pay off the loan enough to make it to the tier below.

You can even make small improvements to boost your value, thereby cutting your LTV. Concentrate on bathrooms and the kitchen. These upgrades move the value needle the most and are your best bang for the buck.

Last but most certainly not least, stroll your neighborhood to check out homes which can be available on the market. A high-priced sale in your area can raise your home’s value; appraisers base your home’s value on sales of similar homes in the area.


2. Improve your credit score

Generally, borrowers with credit scores of 740 or more are certain to get the very best interest rates from lenders. With a score significantly less than 620, it could be difficult to acquire a lower rate and even be eligible for a refinance.

What’s the easiest method to improve your credit score? Pay your bills on time, lower credit card balances, delay major new purchases, and prevent trying to get more credit. Each one of these things can negatively affect your credit rating.

It’s also smart to order copies of your credit report from the big three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and Transunion — to ensure they contain no mistakes.

You are entitled to one free credit report each year, per bureau.


3. Pay closing costs upfront

Closing costs may be substantial, frequently two percent of the loan amount or maybe more.

Most applicants elect to roll these costs in to the new loan. While zero-closing-cost mortgages save out-of-pocket expense, more often than not, they also come with higher interest rates.

To keep rates to the absolute minimum, pay the closing costs in cash if you’re able to. This will even reduce your monthly obligations.


4. Pay Points

Points are fees you pay the lender at closing in trade for a lowered interest rate. Just ensure that “discount points,” as they are known, come with a great ROI.

A point equals one percent of the mortgage amount – e.g., one point would equal $1,000 on a $100,000 mortgage loan.

The more points you pay upfront, the lower your interest rate, and the lower your monthly mortgage payment. Whether it seems sensible to pay points depends upon your present finances and the term of the loan.

Paying points at closing is most beneficial for long-term loans such as for instance 30-year mortgages. You’ll benefit from those lower interest rates for a long period. But remember: that only applies in the event that you keep the loan and home provided that it requires to recoup the cost.


5. Pit Lenders against each other

Much like any purchase, refinance consumers should shop around to find the best deal.

This applies even though you have a personal relationship with a local banker or loan officer.

Mortgage is a business transaction. It shouldn’t be personal. A friend or relative who “does loans” should comprehend that.

Even if your contact suggests they can provide you with a lower rate, it can’t hurt to see what other lenders offer.

Lenders compete for your business by sweetening their offers with lower rates and fees, plus better terms.

And, don’t prejudge a company simply because it’s a banker or broker. If a bank isn’t presenting tempting offers, think about a mortgage broker, or vice versa. Brokers might get you a wholesale interest rate for you personally, which may be cheaper compared to the rates made available from banks. However, many banks offer ultra-low rates in order to undercut brokers.

You benefit when lenders fight for your business.


6. Look beyond APR

Two mortgages with the same APR in many cases are unequal.

For instance, some mortgage rates are lower only because they include points you’ll need to pay upfront. The others may possibly have a nice-looking Annual Percentage Rate (APR), but cost more overall as a result of various lender fees and policies.

It’s feasible for two mortgages to truly have the same APR but carry different interest rates.

Shopping by APR can be confusing, so it’s better to give attention to the full total cost of the loan, especially the interest rate and fees.

It’s also important to check out competing loans on the same day because rates change daily.


7. Know when to lock in the rate

Once you’ve found a brand new mortgage that meets your requirements, consult your lender to choose the very best date to secure low rates.

Loan processing times differ from 30 days to more than 90 days, but many lenders will lock in the rates for just 30 to 45 days.

Avoid high priced lock extensions. An extension is required when you don’t close the loan on time.

Ask your lender to look for the best day to lock the loan based on a conservative loan processing time frame. Otherwise, you may end up spending more money than you originally planned.