Should You Refinance?

Interest rates have fallen so much, it may seem like a no brainer to refinance your home mortgage.

The decision to refinance your mortgage isn’t one that should be taken lightly. Before deciding, you need to understand all that refinancing involves. Your home may be your most valuable financial asset, so you want to be careful when choosing a lender or broker and specific mortgage terms. Remember that, along with the potential benefits to refinancing, the interest rate isn’t the only thing to consider when shopping for a new loan. Refinancing, after all, isn’t free. There are the bank fees, the bills for a new appraisal and inspection, your lawyer’s fee, etc.

When you refinance, you pay off your existing mortgage and create a new one. You may even decide to combine both a primary mortgage and a second mortgage into a new loan. Refinancing may remind you of what you went through in obtaining your original mortgage, since you may encounter many of the same procedures–and the same types of costs–the second time around. 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.

Age is another consideration. Carrying a mortgage into retirement has traditionally been viewed as a bad idea – ideally, you should be as debt-free as possible when your income stops.

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. Make sure to carefully weigh the benefits against the costs to make the best choice for your situation.

DMCC is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt.  Education is provided free of charge to consumers, as well as personal counseling to identify the best options for the repayment of their debt. To speak to a certified credit counselor, call toll-free 866-618-3328 or email contact@dmcconline.org. DMCC is located at 3310 N. Federal Highway, Lighthouse Point, FL 33064.