Mortgage Refinancing: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Mortgage Refinancing: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Home Refinance Loans

Your home is an investment. Refinancing is one of the ways you can use your home to attract these investments. There are many reasons why you may want to refinance, including getting cash from home, lowering your payment, and shortening the loan term.

Let's take a look at how mortgage refinancing works so you know what to expect.

What Does It Mean To Refinance A House?

When refinancing a mortgage on your home, you are essentially exchanging your current mortgage for a new one, often with a new principal and a different interest rate. Then the lender uses your new mortgage to pay off the old one, so you have only one loan and one monthly payment left.

There are several reasons why people refinance their homes. You can use a withdrawal refinance to use your home equity, or a term refinance rate to get a higher interest rate and / or a lower monthly payment. Refinancing can also be used to remove another person from the mortgage, which often happens in the event of a divorce. Finally, you can even add someone to the mortgage.

How Does Refinancing A Home Work?

The refinancing process is often less complicated than the home purchase process, although it involves many of the same steps. It can be difficult to predict how long it will take to refinance, but the typical timeframe is 30 to 45 days.

Let's take a closer look at the refinancing process.


The first step in this process is to review the types of refinancing to find the option that suits you. When applying for refinancing, your lender asks for the same information that you provided to him or another lender when buying the House. They will examine your income, assets, debt and credit rating to determine whether you meet the refinancing requirements and whether you can repay the loan.

Some of the documents your lender might need include your:

  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • Two most recent W-2s
  • Two most recent bank statements

Your lender may also need your spouse's documents if you are married and in a state of public ownership (regardless of whether your spouse is on a loan). You may be required to provide additional income documents if you are self-employed. It's also a good idea to have your tax returns for the past two years on hand.

You do not need to refinance with your current lender. If you choose another lender, this new lender will repay your current loan, ending your relationship with the old lender. Don't be afraid to shop around and compare each lender's current rates, availability, and customer satisfaction metrics.

Locking In Your Interest Rate

After receiving approval, you may be given the opportunity to lock your interest rate so that it does not change until the loan is closed.

Bid bans last from 15 to 60 days. The period of blocking the rate depends on several factors, such as your location, type of loan and lender. You can also get a better rate by choosing a lock for a shorter period of time, because the lender does not need to hedge the market for a long time. However, keep in mind: if your loan is not closed before the end of the blocking period, you may need to extend the rate lock, which can cost money.

You may also be given the option of a floating change in your rate, which means that you will not fix it until you receive a loan. This feature may allow you to get a lower quote, but it also puts you at risk of getting a higher offer. In some cases, you can get the best of both worlds using the Floating Point option, but if you are satisfied with the quotes at the time of placing the order, it is usually a good idea to fix your quote.


Once you submit your application, your lender will start the underwriting process. During the underwriting process, your mortgage lender checks your financial information and makes sure that everything you have provided is accurate.

Your lender will check the details of the property, such as when you purchased your home. This step involves an assessment to determine the value of the House. A refinancing assessment is an important part of the process because it determines the options available to you.

For example, if you refinance to withdraw cash, the value of your home determines how much money you can get. If you are trying to lower your mortgage payment, then the cost may affect whether you have enough equity to get rid of your mortgage insurance or qualify for a particular loan option.

Home Appraisal

Just like when you bought your home, you have to get an appraisal before refinancing. Your lender orders an appraisal, an appraiser visits your property, and you get an estimate of the value of your home.

To prepare for the assessment, you need to make sure that your home looks at its best. Put things in order and complete any minor repairs to make a good impression. It's also a good idea to make a list of the improvements you've made to the House since it became your owner.

If the value of the house is equal to or exceeds the amount of the loan that you want to refinance, it means that the subscription has been completed. Your lender will contact you and provide detailed information about your closing.

What happens if it turns out that your estimate cannot be underestimated? You can reduce the amount of money you want to get by refinancing, or cancel your order. Alternatively, you can do a so-called cash refinancing and cash deposit on the table to get the terms of your current deal.

Closing On Your New Loan

Once you have completed the underwriting and evaluation of housing, it's time to close your loan. A few days before closing, the lender will send you a document called the closing statement. There you will see all the final figures of your loan.

Closing for refinancing is faster than closing for buying a home. In conclusion, there are people associated with the loan and the address, as well as a representative of the lender or the address company.

When closing, you will get acquainted with the details of the loan and sign your loan documents. This is when you pay any closing costs that are not included in your loan. If the lender owes you money (for example, if you are conducting a refinancing with a withdrawal of funds), you will receive the funds after the transaction is closed.

After you have closed your loan, you have a few days before you are blocked. If something happens and you need to cancel the refinancing, you can exercise your right to terminate and cancel the contract at any time before the expiration of the 3-day grace period.

4 Reasons To Refinance Your Mortgage

As mentioned, there are many reasons why you may want to refinance your mortgage. Let's take a look at some of the main reasons here.

1. Change Your Loan Term

Many people refinance to shorten the loan term and save on interest. For example, let's say you started with a 30-year loan, but now you can afford to pay a higher mortgage. You can refinance for 15 years to get a higher interest rate and generally pay less interest.

You can also extend the term of your loan to reduce the monthly payment.

2. Lower Your Interest Rate

Interest rates are constantly changing. If the rates are better now than when you received the loan, refinancing may make sense for you. Lowering the interest rate can lower your monthly payment and you will pay less interest over the life of your loan.

3. Change Your Loan Type

There are many reasons why another type of loan can benefit you. You've originally got an adjustable interest rate mortgage (arm) to save on interest, but you want to refinance your arm into a fixed interest rate mortgage while rates are low.

Maybe you finally have enough equity to refinance your FHA loan into a regular loan and stop paying for your mortgage insurance.

4. Cash Out Your Equity

When you refinance with a withdrawal, you can borrow more than you owe on your home and pocket the difference in cash. If the value of your home increases, you may have enough equity to take cash for home improvement, debt consolidation, or other expenses. Using cash from home allows you to borrow money at a much lower interest rate than other types of loans. However, refinancing by withdrawing funds may have tax consequences.

Refinancing FAQs

Learn more about refinancing your mortgage and get more mortgage refinancing tips by reading the Frequently Asked Questions homeowners have about the process.

What does it cost to refinance?

The total cost of refinancing depends on a number of factors, such as the lender and the value of your home. Expect to pay 2-6% of the total cost of your loan.

The best thing about refinancing is that you may not have to pay these costs out of pocket, especially after the commission for refinancing has been canceled in an unfavorable market.

In some cases, you can refinance without closing costs, so you don't have to put any money on the table. Keep in mind that the closing cost is then paid over the life of the loan in the form of a higher rate.

When should I refinance my mortgage?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether you should refinance. Consider market trends (including current interest rates), as well as your personal financial condition (especially your credit rating). It's a good idea to use a mortgage refinancing calculator to determine the breakeven point after calculating refinancing costs.

You also need to know how refinancing differs from other mortgage options, such as a loan modification and a second mortgage. The main difference between refinancing and a loan modification is that refinancing gives you a new mortgage, while the modification changes your existing conditions.

The new mortgage that you get as a result of refinancing replaces the existing one, which is an important difference between obtaining a second mortgage and refinancing. Analyze what works best for you before deciding what to do.

It is important to note that the change should be considered only if you cannot qualify for refinancing and need a long-term deferred payment. Adjustment , as a rule, has a serious negative impact on your credit rating.

If you are interested in reducing the monthly payment, renegotiating the terms of the mortgage is an easy option. This includes making a large lump sum payment on your principal debt so that your lender can redistribute the balance.

How soon after closing can I refinance? 

The answer to this question depends on the type of loan you are getting and on the mortgage investor of your loan. It may be less than 30 days, or it may be 6 months or 1 year.

How often you can refinance depends on the amount of accumulated capital and the current mortgage balance.

Will refinancing my home affect my credit?

When the homeowner refinances the mortgage, the lender conducts a thorough investigation and compiles a credit report on the borrower's history. This process will lower your credit score, but only for a short period of time. As long as you don't open any other credit cards and continue to pay off any debts you have, your credit score may recover in a few months.

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