According to the data from Bankrate.com, there is a rise in loan applications for refinancing. Although the total loan application went down by 1.3%, refinancing is rising from 64% to 64.2%. This data is based on the report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Apparently, people are looking at the signs in the market and they have found that now is the right time to take advantage of the benefits of refinancing their home loan.
When you refinance your mortgage, it means you are getting a new loan to pay off the old one. There are several benefits to this change. One of them, and probably the most popular, is a lower interest rate. Some people tend to improve their credit scores over time and that makes them eligible to get a new loan with a lower rate than before. Not only that, deciding to refinance your home loan could lead you to pay off your mortgage earlier than planned.
Bottom line is, refinancing will help you get better terms on your home loan. If you are able to get the right terms, this new loan can help you improve your overall financial situation.
3 reasons you should refinance right now
If there was ever a great time to refinance your mortgage, that time is now. In fact, the data from TheMortgageReports.com reveal how 7 million homeowners are currently eligible to refinance. Not only that, these homeowners can save $5 billion or more collectively this year and the next. If the current trend stays on its path, the amount you can save will even be higher.
Of course, you can always refinance anytime you want. If there is no need at the moment, you can always postpone it. As long as you have enough equity in your house and if you have a financial need that will benefit from refinancing, you can always choose to apply anytime you wish. However, there are three important reasons why you should consider to refinance right now.
The first reason, and probably the best one, is the low-interest rates. According to the data provided by The Mortgage Reports, rates are falling and it is still expected to do so in the coming months. One of the current issues that contributed to the lower rates is the recent “Brexit.” This unexpected even rocked the world market and that make the rates sink ever lower than it had. After this move, 30-year fixed mortgages are offering 3.25% rates – if you have a good credit score. Since there was only one time in history that these rates sunk this low, homeowners are taking advantage by refinancing. If your current rate is higher than what is being offered now, you need to consider converting your old mortgage and refinance into a new one.
Get rid of high-interest rate credit card debt.
Another reason why refinancing now is a good idea is because of the high-interest credit card debt. Late last year, it was announced that the Federal Reserve planned to increase their rates in 2016. The financial industry was on standby because companies would have to raise their rates as well. That means your credit cards would get the same raise. According to an article published on the NYTimes.com, the Fed seems to be changing their mind about this because of the economy. While the increase in rates will not happen as initially scheduled, it will definitely push through – but at a slower pace. Before that happens, you need to get rid of your high-interest credit card debt – which can be done through refinancing. If you have built enough equity in your home, this move can give you some extra cash that you can use to pay off your credit card balance.
Improve your home’s value.
The final reason to refinance right now is to improve the value of your home. With the mortgage rates going down, you can expect that people will start to buy homes soon. At the moment, the housing market is slowing down. But when it does, you can be certain that the next phase is an increase in demand. If you want to earn from your house, this is a great time to improve the value of your house. There are two ways to go about this. You can refinance your current mortgage at a lower rate so you can renovate your house for rental purposes. This will help you earn from the property immediately. Since people are not buying, you can expect that a lot of them are renting. You can offer your house to tenants so you can earn some passive income. The other way that you can benefit from this is by preparing your property for a future sale. By improving it, you can increase the value of the house. That way, you can sell it at a higher price when the seller’s market comes around.
These three reasons should be enough to convince you to refinance now. Take advantage of the current market conditions so you can enjoy financially benefit from your house.
How to be wise while refinancing your home loan
Of course, refinancing should be done in a smart way. You are going to put your home as a collateral for this new loan. Not only that, if you will use your equity, that means you will have less money on your property. You need to weigh the pros and cons before you decide if this financial move will really benefit you or not.
To help you, here are some tips that will help you approach refinancing wisely.
Make sure you have a high equity. Unless you have a high equity in your house, you should not refinance your mortgage. You should have at least 5-6 years worth of initial payments made – on top of the down payment that you gave during the closing. In case your mortgage has a prepayment penalty clause, you might already be past this stage. Usually, you are only charged prepayment penalties during the first few years of your home loan payments. Once you are past that, you can refinance into a new loan without worrying about penalties.
Use it to reach a financial goal. You should also scrutinize the reason why you are refinancing. Make sure you will reach a financial goal by going through this step. For instance, you can use this to get out of debt through debt consolidation. If you cannot complete a goal when you refinance, you should at least make sure it helps you get one step closer to one.
Set it up to pay for itself. A great reason to refinance is to help you set up a passive income. As mentioned, one of the uses of the money you will get from refinancing is to renovate your house so your garage, spare bedroom or basement can be leased to a tenant. This will not only help you pay off the mortgage, you can also use it to get some extra cash into your pocket.
Have a payment plan ready. When you apply for a new loan, make sure you have a debt payment plan in place. This is actually applicable to all types of debt. As long as you are borrowing money, you should know where you will get the money to pay it back. If you are unsure about where you will get the monthly payments, do not push through with the loan. Remember that this will use your house as collateral. You might end up losing your house if you cannot pay this back.
Make sure that when you refinance your loan, you will adjust your budget accordingly to adapt to your new payment scheme. Here is a video that provides 4 tips that will help you determine if refinancing is a good idea or not.
Common questions about refinancing
Question: When is refinancing a good or bad idea?
Answer: Refinancing can be a good or bad idea depending on your intentions. If you plan to use the loan to pay off your debts so you can eliminate it, then it is a good idea. However, if you plan to use it to finance a vacation or an expensive yet unnecessary purchase, then it becomes a bad idea.
Question: How can refinancing affect your credit score?
Answer: This will depend on how you will use the loan. Usually, refinancing will not affect your score significantly. The credit inquiry of the lender will be recorded in your credit report but if you only applied to one lender, it will not have a great effect. It will not affect your credit utilization because the refinancing will pay off your old mortgage – unless of course, the equity of your house is too great and you intend to use the cash for something else. Even if it will bring your score down, you can always improve your score by paying off the loan consistently and on time.
Question: Who qualifies for mortgage refinancing?
Answer: Anyone who has a home loan, a home equity, and credit report can avail of refinancing. Of course, you should have a consistent and stable income to be approved of a loan.
Question: Who benefits from refinancing?
Answer: The borrower can benefit from refinancing – more so if you use it wisely. Using it wisely means your reason to refinance should lead you closer to a financial goal. But if you do not use it correctly, you might end up with a lot of debt to your name and a foreclosed property.
Question: What are the refinancing costs?
Answer: The refinancing cost is the same as what you will encounter with a typical home loan. You will go through a credit check, property appraisal, etc. All of these will entail costs. The details will depend on your lender. If you refinance with the same lender as your current home loan, it is usually a lower cost as compared to refinancing with a new lender.