Deciding to refinance your home can be very beneficial especially if you bought when interest rates were high or you chose a more creative financing option such as an adjustable rate mortgage which matures after. There are several factors to consider before you choose to refinance.
Reasons to refinance:
- To lower the interest rate on your mortgage, reducing your monthly payments and overall cost
- To reduce the term or length of your loan, doing so can save you thousands of dollars in interest
- To consolidate your debt
All of these are excellent reasons to pursue refinancing, but several issues should be considered first.
Refinancing is similar to the process you encountered when you closed on your first mortgage. It requires an application, credit check, new survey and title search, as well as an appraisal and inspection fees. As you know, this process can be quite lengthy and expensive.
As a rule of thumb, it pays to refinance if you can get an interest rate at least two percentage points lower than what you are currently paying. However, every situation is different. Some lenders are offering reduced fees or no points. Asking yourself a few questions may help you determine if you can save money:
- How much can I lower my current monthly payment?
- How long do I plan to stay in the house after I refinance?
- How much will I pay in refinancing costs?
Once you ask yourself these questions, the next thing you need to do is figure out what you still owe on the house, how much you’re paying each month, and how much you initially paid for the house. Itemize all the expenses of the refinance and estimate your new monthly payments. With this, you can figure out where you break even and when you begin saving money.
Having Trouble Paying Your Mortgage?
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, you are not alone. Many Americans are facing this same problem and mortgage companies are very familiar with this situation.
The first thing you need to do once you realize that this is becoming a problem for you and your family is contact your mortgage lender immediately. Contacting your lender as soon as possible is the best way to deal with your situation. Mortgage lenders are in the business of making money therefore they are more willing to work with you. By contacting your lender they may be willing to work something out with you and in some cases renegotiate your loan terms. Lenders may offer you:
- Reduced interest rates
- Reduced payments
- Interest only payments
Many lenders wouldn’t have considered such deals 6 months ago, but since mortgage delinquencies have skyrocketed and the housing market has plummeted, banks are eager to avoid foreclosures. This is a great opportunity to work with your lender and come up with a plan that is going to keep you in your home and lenders happy too.
You may also want to consider contacting a credit counselor to help you with your monthly budgeting. This is a very stressful time in your life and seeking a professional budget counselor may be the best way to help identify areas that you can cut back in, in order to ensure you are meeting your monthly mortgage commitments.
If you need further assistance with your mortgage you may contact the Mortgage HopeLine at 888-995-HOPE or if you would like to discuss your specifics with one of our counselors feel free to contact our housing department at 866-826-7180.