As interest rates continue to creep upwards, many home owners are looking at refinancing options. Here are some mortgage refinancing tips.
Mortgage Refinancing Tips
Rates have been increasing steadily for the last six months. These increases are expected to continue into 2006. Such increases are putting pressure on homeowners who took out adjustable rate mortgages or have been borrowing money against a home equity line of credit. For people in this position, refinancing into a fixed rate mortgage is starting to look very attractive if for no other reason than to avoid future bumps in the rates.
If you are considering refinancing your mortgage, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Unlike the rushed process of trying to get funding for a purchase, you have more time to evaluate and compare mortgage options. Shop around and find out what different lenders are offering that fit your potential needs.
1. What is your goal? – Is your goal to lower the monthly payment or to simply try to pay less interest? While these questions may seem like the same thing, a lower interest rate can be translated into the same month payment amount, but with more of the payment being applied to the principal of the loan. This, of course, helps you pay off the note faster. The bigger point is to simply figure out your goal and find a loan that meets it.
2. Shop Lenders – One of the best ways to do this is seek a pre-approval from a variety of lenders. You might be concerned this will hurt your FICO score, but refinance credit requests often don’t ding your FICO. If you’re not sure about this, simply don’t supply the lender with you social security number. They will give you a less definite loan offer, but you’ll still have the advantage of reading the fine terms to make sure it accomplishes your goals.
3. In Writing – Once you choose a lender, you need to nail down three important things in writing. The first is the interest rate. The second is the closing costs, if any. The third is any pre-payment penalty associated with the loan. If the lender drags there feet on any of these, consider walking away from the loan.
Refinancing a mortgage is a less stressful process when compared to getting a purchase loan. You are in the catbirds seat, so don’t let lenders push you around.