Refinancing? Do Your Homework

Plan Your Mortgage Refinance Wisely

Refinance Do Your HomeworkThere are many reasons to refinance a home mortgage, but when the refinancing process is done in the wrong way, it may cost you a lot of money! The best advice before refinancing a home loan, is to do your homework. Check and plan all the things that needs to be taken care of, make all the refinancing calculations prior to the decision. In this short review we will try to clear out the things you need to know before you go into a refinancing procedure.

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage

This is the first question you should ask yourself, “should I refinance my home?”, there are several reasons why to refinance, as there are several reasons why not to. The main reason to refinance is to lower your existing mortgage interest rate. If your current mortgage rate is 2% higher than the best national mortgage rates, then refinancing may save you a lot of money.

Other reasons to refinance:

  • You may be to lower the monthly payments by extending the new loan.
  • You can choose to leave the monthly payments unchanged, but with a lower rate, the mortgage will end sooner.
  • If you can afford it, you can pay higher payments each month and shorten the mortgage life span even sooner.
  • You can take cash out for other needs – By refinancing a larger sum than is still left on the mortgage, you can get cash money to renovate, invest, use as downpayments, close credit debts, pay other loans or just take a trip to Hawaii.
  • Change the type of interest rate from fixed rate to adjustable rate mortgage -ARM (or vise versa).
  • Consolidating several mortgages on the current home into one new mortgage.

Homework You Need To Do

Your homework is not difficult, but it is not that simple. First you need to decide about your financial gaols. Where do you want to be after the refinancing ends? with lower monthly payments or with less payments due to pay? With a different type of mortgage rate or with the same? Do you plan to cash out?

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If you are uncertain about which goal to choose, here are some questions to ask yourself, they will help you get a direction:

  1. Which lender – Are you going to stay with your current lender? There are many advantages as the lender knows you and has all your documentations. Moving to another lender means sometimes paying more fees.
  2. What are your debts – How many other debts do you have on your balance? Credit debts, car loans? student loans?
  3. What is your FICO score – How high (or low) is your current credit score? A low score may mean getting higher refinancing rates, which can ruin your plans. See further below about simple credit plans that fix credit fast enough to refinance this year.
  4. Do you have savings – The refinancing process is not a ‘no money down’ deal, there will be points, fees, appraisal costs and other closing costs to pay. Even when some of these fees can be added to the new mortgage, some are still POC paid outside of closing.
  5. Make some overall calculations – Will the lowering of the interest rate, save me more money than the fees and closing costs? How much in total will I save with the new mortgage compared to my current mortgage?

Refinance Homework At The Bank

One more step you should be doing is a very thorough ‘rate shopping’. Some people invest more time buying a Valentine gift or a Sony 3D camera than investigating about the new mortgage rates and terms. One more refinancing homework task will be to request two documents from the lending banks:

Good Faith Estimate – This document is issued by the lender and has an estimation of the fees and costs which will be included for the refinancing process. Once you ‘shop’ for the best refinance home rates, you need to have at least 3 ‘good faith estimate’ forms. This will be helpful later on when you will need to negotiate the refinance fees and costs.

Truth in Lending Statement – This document is a mathematical calculation done by the lending bank, that states all the financial figures of the refinance program. This ‘truth in lending statement’ will show the monthly payments expected, the length of the mortgage, and the overall money you will need to be paying back over time. This is very important part of your mortgage ‘shopping trip’ as its the document that has the actual price tag of the loan.

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Do Your Homework – Raise Your FICO Score

The first thing to begin with, should be the action item that usually takes the longest time to accomplish. Before going to any bank and requesting information on refinancing, you should get your credit raise in a few points! The first thing the lenders will do, once you leave their office, will be to investigate your credit score.

Even a small raise in your credit score (30-50 points) can mean lower interest rates, and thousands of dollars saving per year! Credit repair takes time, it is not an instant ‘hocus-focus’ therefore it should be planned ahead, and be the first thing in your refinancing homework to-do list.

Paying hundreds of dollars for professional attorneys services for credit repair may be a waste of money, many people buy today online credit repair plans or software, and do it themselves. It is wiser to invest on a credit repair DIY guide than to stay with the current score and get 0.3% percent higher interest rate on your mortgage!

So What Can You Do To Improve Your Situation?

If you will do nothing.. don’t expect anything to happen. The best advice is to bump your credit score up! It will give you better leverage when facing the lenders, and better negotiation position when applying for any financial need.

Lets not forget you are probably paying $500-$1000 extra per year in higher interest rates, and credit payments.

If your score is below 700, you might want to clean it yourself – get this ‘Credit Repair University’ which will save you money and time.

Yes, you might need to invest a small sum to get a grip of things.. But if you think education is expensive.. try ignorance..

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You are probably paying thousands of dollars per year in fees and interests to credit companies which could be going straight to your pocket. Don’t be cheap when it comes to financial education..

Ignorance costs more.


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