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Refinancing Your Mortgage Loan

Given the low mortgate interest rates that are now available, many homeowners are considering refinancing their home mortgage. Not everyone saves by refinancing, however, so homeowners should weigh the total cost of refinancing before making such a decision.

To help you decide if refinancing is for you and to help you prepare to approach a financial institution, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips.

When you refinance your mortgage, you pay off your original mortgage and sign a new loan. With a new loan, you can incur many of the same costs you paid to get your original mortgage. These can include settlement costs, discount points, and other fees.

Before you go through the expense of refinancing, check the interest rates to make sure they have dropped to a level that makes refinancing worthwhile. Conventional wisdom states that a two to three percent difference between the rate on your current mortgage and the new rate over a period of time - generally several years - usually offsets the costs you must pay at closing. The ultimate amount you may save depends on many factors, including your total refinancing cost, whether you sell your home in the near future, and the effects of refinancing on your tax situation.

If you decide to refinance, shop around by calling several lending institutions to ask what interest and fees they charge. Remember, you don't have to refinance your mortgage with the same lender that provided your original mortgage. Check with the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on lending institution(s) you're considering.

Do some homework. Gather all the information and documentation you're likely to need for a phone or face-to-face interview: credit account numbers and addresses; bank account numbers and addresses; and tax returns from the last two years. If there is any indication of credit problems on your credit report, (late loan payments, etc.) be prepared to fully explain the situation. Working cooperatively with your lending institution and carefully analyzing your financial situation can help you determine if refinancing is the right step for you.

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Last Updated
Sunday, July 14, 2024

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