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A Beginner’s Guide to Refinancing Your Mortgage

  • Finance
  • Natasha Young
  • 12 minutes

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Refinancing a mortgage comes with perks. You can lower your monthly payment, save money on interest throughout your loan, pay off your mortgage sooner, and access the equity in your house if you need money for any reason. But to make the most out of it. Read to know more.

What do you mean by refinancing a home? 

When you refinance your mortgage, you swap your existing loan with a brand-new one rather than reworking it. It can be with a different lender from the one you dealt with initially to purchase your house. 

How does refinancing a mortgage work?  

A borrower must submit a new loan application. Then make their request to either their current or a new lender to refinance. Reassessing someone’s or a company’s credit terms and financial status is a part of the refinancing. Mortgage, auto, and student loans are among the consumer debts frequently considered for refinancing.¬†

Companies can also refinance their commercial real estate mortgage loans. Many business investors will examine their corporate balance sheets to identify commercial loans made by creditors.

Once you are qualified for refinancing, your new lender will pay off the old loan. Then you have to make monthly payments for the new loan according to its terms and rates. These conditions vary depending on the type of refinancing you opt for. 

Types of refinancing 

  • Rate-and-term refinancing¬†

Refinancing with a rate and term is the most typical kind. Rate-and-term refinancing refers to paying off the first loan and replacing it with a new loan agreement with lower interest rates.

  • Cash-out refinancing¬†

Cash-outs are frequent when the value of the underlying asset that serves as the loan’s collateral has increased. The asset’s worth or equity is taken out in exchange for a larger loan amount (and often a higher interest rate) in the deal. ¬†

In other words, rather than selling an asset when its value increases on paper, you can borrow against it. With this choice, the loan amount is increased, but the borrower retains ownership of the item and has immediate access to cash. 

  • Cash-in refinancing¬†

Refinancing with cash enables the borrower to pay off a portion of the loan in exchange for a lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio or lower monthly loan payments.

  • Consolidation refinancing¬†

When an investor secures a single loan at a rate lower than their current average interest rate across various credit products, they may choose to consolidate their debt. A customer or corporation must apply for a new loan at a reduced interest rate, pay off previous debt with the new loan, and then leave their total outstanding principal with significantly lower interest rate payments.

  • Streamline refinancing¬†

By removing some conventional refinance requirements, such as a credit check or appraisal, a streamlined refinance speeds up the process for borrowers. This option is accessible for loans made through the FHA, VA, USDA, etc.

  • No-closing-cost refinance¬†

You can refinance using a no-closing-cost option, but you will have to roll the closing costs into the loan, resulting in a larger monthly payment and probably a higher interest rate. A no-closing-cost refinance makes the most sense if you only intend to live in the house temporarily. 

  • Short refinance¬†

You can refinance using a no-closing-cost option, but you will have to roll the closing costs into the loan, which will result in a larger monthly payment and probably a higher interest rate. A no-closing-cost refinance makes the most sense if you only intend to live in the house temporarily.

  • Debt consolidation refinance¬†¬†

A debt consolidation refinance might be a good idea if you own a home and have a lot of debt. This is similar to a cash-out refinance: you’ll get more than you owe on your mortgage and use the difference to pay off your other debts.¬†

  • Reverse mortgage¬†

If you own a home and are 62 years or older, you may be qualified for a reverse mortgage, enabling you to access the equity in your property and receive payments from your lender regularly. This money can be used for any purpose, including retirement income, paying healthcare, and other expenses. Even though the revenue is not taxable, interest will still accrue until you vacate the property. 

How to refinance a mortgage 

Compare your mortgage rates 

Research the current rates to find the best mortgage rates for you and decide if refinance is worth it. 

Prequalify for the new loan 

Fill out a form with some basic information about yourself and your loan to find out how much you could be able to borrow when you refinance your mortgage. 

Apply to refinance your mortgage 

Once you know how much you can get, talk to your lender. After necessary negotiation, apply for refinancing. 

Pros and cons of refinancing a mortgage 

Pros  Cons 
  • Your interest rate could go down.¬†¬†
  • You could lower your mortgage payment and save money each month.¬†
  • You could pay your loan¬†off faster.¬†
  • You could use the value of your home to get cash when you sell it.¬†
  • You could combine your debts into one simple payment. ¬†
  • You could switch from a mortgage with an adjustable rate to one with a fixed rate or the other way around.¬†
  • You might be able to stop paying private mortgage insurance premiums to stop paying fees you don’t need to.¬†


  • You’ll have to pay for the costs of closing. ¬†
  • You could have a longer loan term, which would cost you more and put off when you have to pay it off. ¬†
  • If you take cash out of your home, the value of your home could go down. ¬†
  • The process of refinancing is time-consuming. It can take anywhere from 15 to 45 days at least.¬†
  • Your credit score will go down for a short time.¬†
  • You might get buyer’s remorse.¬†

Examples of refinancing 

  • Student loans¬†

Refinancing student loans is frequently used to combine several loans into a single payment. The borrower can manage their debt through one business and cut their interest rate by refinancing their debts and using one lender. 

  • Personal loans¬†

You can apply for a credit card with a 0% introductory annual percentage rate or another loan with better terms to refinance a personal loan (APR). Though not all lenders are ready to do this, in some circumstances, you could even be able to refinance your current personal loan with the same lender. 

  • Credit cards¬†

Credit card debt is frequently refinanced using personal loans. An unpaid credit card amount accrues interest quickly, and it can be challenging to control steadily increasing debt. The monthly interest rates for credit cards are also often higher than those for personal loans. So, debtors are likely to find a more inexpensive and manageable approach to paying off their debt by paying off the credit card balance with a personal loan. 

  • Mortgages¬†

Homeowners refinance their mortgages for two main reasons: to lower their monthly payments and cut the loan length from 30 years to 15 years. 

  • Auto loans¬†

Most people who refinance their car loans want to lower their monthly payments. A restructured auto loan agreement can help borrowers get their finances back on track if they are in danger of not paying back their debt. But banks usually have specific rules about who can refinance, such as limits on the car’s age, the number of miles it can go, and the amount of money it owes.¬†

Stuck with a bad auto loan? It’s your cue to try refinancing. With Way.com, you get the best refinance options available to you. Use our refinance loan calculator, compare the loan rates, prequalify, and save up to $1850 a year on your refinanced auto loan. 

  • Small business loans¬†

Many small business owners improve their bottom line by refinancing their business debt. Small business administration (SBA) 504 loans, backed by the government and used to buy real estate and equipment, can also be used to pay off other types of real estate loans. Similar to refinancing a mortgage, switching to a different business real estate loan can often help you get lower monthly payments and interest rates. Businesses with too much debt can also use debt consolidation loans to change how they pay back their debts. 

When is the best time to refinance a mortgage?  

You want to change your loan term 

Many consumers refinance for a shorter period to save money on interest. You can also refinance for a longer period to reduce your monthly payment. 

You want to lower your interest rate 

Interest rates are constantly fluctuating. If interest rates have dropped compared to when you took out your loan, refinancing may make sense. Reducing your interest rate may result in a reduced monthly payment. You’ll also most likely pay less overall interest over the life of your loan.¬†

You want to change your loan type 

A different form of loan or loan program may be advantageous to you for various reasons. Perhaps you obtained an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to save money on interest. But you’d like to refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage while interest rates are low. Sometimes,¬†you finally have enough home equity to refinance your FHA loan to a conventional loan and stop paying mortgage insurance premiums (MIP).¬†

You want to cash out your equity 

A cash-out refinance you to borrow more than you owe on your house and keep the difference in cash. If the value of your house has improved, you may have enough equity to borrow money for home modifications, debt consolidation, or other purposes. Borrowing money with cash from your house allows you to do so at a considerably lower interest rate than other loans. Yet, a cash-out may have tax repercussions. 

refinancing a mortgage

Bottom line 

Refinancing your home can be one of your most important financial decisions. If you intend to stay in your house for many years, extend your loan term to reduce monthly payments. Or plan using the equity you’ve generated to finance home upgrades. Knowing when to refinance your mortgage is critical. It’s best to do enough research and sign up for one to maintain a better financial status.¬†¬†


What is refinancing in simple terms? 

When the terms of an existing loan, like interest rates and payment schedules, are changed, it is called a refinance. When interest rates go down, people tend to refinance their loans. And when someone or a business refinances, their credit and repayment status is checked again. 

What is the purpose of refinancing? 

Typical reasons for refinancing are reducing the fixed interest rate to reduce monthly payments over the life of the loan, extending or shortening the loan term, or switching from a fixed-rate mortgage to an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). 

What is refinancing, and how does it work? 

When you refinance the mortgage on your house, you trade in your old mortgage for a new one, which often has a different principal and interest rate. Your lender will then use the new mortgage to pay off the old one, leaving you with just a single loan. 

Is refinancing a good idea? 

More specifically, if you can reduce your interest rate by half a percentage point or more and intend to stay in your house long enough to repay the closing expenses that taking out a new mortgage incurs, then refinancing may be the right choice for you. 

Does refinancing hurt your credit? 

Your credit score may momentarily drop while refinancing a loan for a variety of reasons. Lenders will usually make a hard credit inquiry on you, which can lower your credit score by a few points, although this will only be on your credit report for up to two years. Second, when you refinance a loan and fail to make timely payments, it can hurt your credit. 

Is it a good idea to refinance a loan? 

If market conditions have resulted in lower interest rates or your credit score has improved since you took out a loan, you should consider refinancing. You may be able to get lower interest rates, affordable monthly payments, or payback terms that are more suitable for you. 

Can you save money by refinancing a loan? 

Yes. But, refinancing a debt does not always ensure you will save money. In some circumstances, fees such as closing charges and/or prepayment penalties may cancel out any savings you may have otherwise achieved. 

What does it cost to refinance? 

Several factors, including your lender and the value of your property, determine the entire cost of refinancing. Anticipate paying between 2% and 6% of the total loan amount. In some situations, you can get a refinance with no closing costs. Keep in mind that the closing cost is then paid back throughout the life of the loan in the form of a higher interest rate. 

Is it better to refinance your mortgage or do a loan modification? 

Refinancing provides you with a new mortgage. In contrast, loan modification adjusts your present terms to incorporate missing payments back into your balance to assist you in remaining in your property. It’s also worth noting that a modification should be considered only if you don’t qualify for a refinance and require long-term payment relief. Modification has a significant negative influence on your credit score.¬†

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