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What to Know Before You Refinance Your Home

What does it mean to refinance? Refinancing is the act of taking on a new loan with different terms. Reasons for refinancing your mortgage include lowering your payment, shortening your term or using the equity you’ve built up over time to get cash back out of your home.

What’s Your Goal?

Deciding if it makes sense to refinance your home depends on a number of factors, but it starts with one question: What do you want out of your refinance? Here are some of the main reasons homeowners decide to refinance their mortgage:

Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing your home can help you meet your financial goals.

See Today’s Mortgage Rates

Want to find out if refinancing is right for you? A good way to start is by looking at the current mortgage rates. Don’t forget – rates change daily based on the market, so if you like what you see, make sure to talk to a Home Loan Expert to get your personalized rate and lock it in as soon as possible.

Refinance Calculator

Want to see if refinancing makes sense for you? Try our refinance calculator. Here’s how it works.

First, we’ll ask about your primary goal for your new loan. You can choose between lowering your payment and paying off your home sooner. Depending on which option you select, you’ll either be asked what your current monthly payment is or how many years you have left on your loan.

After that, you’ll be asked to estimate what you still owe and how much your home is worth to determine the amount of the loan. Then you input a rough credit estimate and your ZIP code.

The results page will show you a sample rate and payment. You can adjust the rate and type of loan, as well as add taxes and insurance to find out if refinancing your mortgage can help you meet your financial goals.

Calculate your rate now to see if refinancing is right for you.

Get Your Need-to-Know Info

Questions about the refinance process? We can help.

What is equity? Why is it important for refinancing?

Home equity refers to the appraised value of your home minus the amount you still owe on your loan.

The value of equity depends on your goal for refinancing. The more equity you have, the more money you may be able to get from a cash-out refinance. Or, it could result in a better interest rate, which may help you lower your monthly payment. Having enough equity may also help you eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI), a costly monthly fee included in many mortgages with an original down payment of less than 20%. Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if you have enough equity to reach your financial goals.

How much does it cost to refinance?

It’s possible to add the costs associated with getting a new mortgage into the total refinance amount to avoid paying anything out of pocket at closing. However, refinancing in order to lower your payment, get cash out or consolidate your debt may result in a longer loan term or a higher rate, and that might mean paying more in interest overall in the long run.

Use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing your home can help you lower your monthly payment or consolidate your debt.

What documents are required to refinance?

The following is a list of documents generally required during the refinance application process:

  • Proof of income: Typically, you’ll need to show original pay stubs for the last 30 days.
  • Copy of homeowners insurance: Verifies that you have current and sufficient coverage on your home.
  • Copies of your W-2 forms: Required for each loan applicant and helps your lender verify past employment and income history.
  • Copies of asset information: Including accounts holding money for closing costs, statements for savings, checking and 401(k) accounts and investment records for mutual funds or stocks.
  • Copy of title insurance: Helps your mortgage lender verify taxes, names on the title and legal description of the property.

How often can I refinance my home?

Some states have limits on how soon or how often their residents can refinance a home loan; these limits are often designed to ensure that the refinance process benefits the homeowner. Regulations aside, it’s very important to make sure that refinancing helps you meet your financial goals. Deciding if it makes sense to refinance your home depends on a number of factors: Does your current lender have a prepayment penalty? Do you have enough equity built up in your home? Are interest rates lower now than they were when you first got your home loan? Do you plan to stay in your home for many years?

Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing your home can help you meet your goal.