When should you refinance your home mortgage? Over the last several years with interest rates at a 40-year low, many people have chosen to refinance. Even though rates have crept up over the last couple of months, refinancing may still make sense for you. However, since refinancing a home mortgage is essentially taking out a new loan, there are costs that you need to be aware of. Use our home refinance calculator to analyze your situation today!
Refinancing your mortgage means taking out a new home loan. Your new loan pays off your new mortgage and your property is still used to secure the financing. There are a few questions you’ll want to ask if you’re considering refinancing your mortgage:
- What Is My Goal? Do you want to pay off your mortgage faster, pay less in interest or save money long-term? Consider why you want to refinance and try to evaluate whether your options help you reach that goal. Also, consider whether your goals are a promising idea over the long-term. If you want to pay off your mortgage faster, for instance, will that really offer you a big benefit, or does the tax break you get now on your mortgage offset the costs of this one form of financing?
- How Much Will Refinancing Cost? Since refinancing means getting a new mortgage, you may need to pay legal expenses, closing costs, title insurance, an appraisal, transfer fees and other expenses. Make sure you understand what you’ll be paying and how much it will add up to. Only refinance if the savings will cover the costs — and then some.
- How Will This Affect My Taxes? Talk to your tax preparer before you make changes to your home loan, as it can affect your deductibles and the taxes you pay.
- How Much Equity Do I Have? If you have lots of equity, you may qualify for a better rate and better terms. If you have little equity or if you owe more than your home is worth, refinancing can mean you don’t get a favorable loan and you may end up paying more overall.
- How Has My Financial Reality Changed? It can make sense to change your mortgage if you can reduce your monthly payment or cut back how much you pay over all. Typically, this occurs because your income or credit score has improved significantly or because interest rates have declined. If everything is the same as when you secured the mortgage, you will likely not get a better deal.
- What Are My Refinance Options? Consider the types of mortgage you want, whether a fixed rate, reverse mortgage, ARM or other product. Shop around for the best options and compare the offerings at different lenders to get the best solution for your needs, always keeping your financial goals in mind.
If you want to calculate how much your mortgage has been repaid or if you need a mortgage calculator that includes taxes, Money Help Center has free calculators and resources to help you. Our bias-free calculators are a terrific tool to crunch the numbers and get insights before you make any decisions about your money.