By Matt Allen
Vice President, Portfolio Lending (NMLS #415037)

5 Tips for Refinancing Your Mortgage

Mar 17, 2020

  • Refinancing

You’ve determined that you want to refinance your mortgage loan to take advantage of lower interest rates. So, what’s next? There are steps you can take to get the best deal and maximize the benefits of refinancing your mortgage. Here are five tips to help ensure you’ll get the best deal.

1. Build up your Credit Score

Your credit score will not only determine whether you qualify for a loan but also affect the interest rate you receive. Your score could make more than a 1% difference in the interest rate, which amounts to a considerable amount of interest you’d be paying over the life of the loan.

Get a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. If you have high balances on revolving accounts such as credit cards, work on paying those debts down to improve your credit score. Also, make sure you pay your bills on time each month and consider setting up auto-pay.

2. Look at the APR, Not APY

When looking at interest rates on a refinance mortgage, you will want to pay close attention to the annual percentage rate (APR). The APR incorporates all your expenses, such as closing costs, to give you a more accurate view.


3. Know What Your Home Is Worth

Having equity in your home is one of the most significant determining factors in your interest rate. The difference between what your house is worth and what you owe equals your home equity or a loan-to-value ratio (LTV). Lenders determine how risky the loan is by how much equity you have built up. As a result, they will charge you a higher interest rate.


4. Get Multiple Rate Quotes

Shopping around for the best deal is essential when refinancing. Lenders have different requirements and underwriting procedures, so rates and terms could vary. Ask for a quote from multiple lenders, and don’t be afraid to haggle over fees. Some lenders might be willing to lower their fees or offer credit towards certain costs.


5. Figure out Your Financial Goal for a Refinance

Every person will have different financial reasons for considering a refinance mortgage. Know your goal so that you can choose the loan that best fits your needs when weighing the options. Some financial goals could include:

  • Home improvements or paying off debt—You can tap into your home equity. If you’ve paid down your mortgage or your home has increased in value, a cash-out refinance is one way to access equity. You can use the money to pay off higher-interest debt or for home improvement projects around the house. 
  • Lower your mortgage payments—When your interest rate decreases, the interest you pay over the life of the loan will save you thousands. Additionally, your monthly mortgage payments will also go down.
  • Pay your loan off faster—While people prefer to take out a longer-term mortgage with a lower payment, you could consider paying off your loan more quickly. The interest on shorter terms tends to be less. If your income has increased, you may be able to afford the higher payments.

When you are ready to refinance your home, call our experts at 855-465-0753 to get started.