Financing Your Home

About Refinancing your Home

When to Refinance
Each homeowner is unique - and we'll help you determine if it's the right time for you to refinance. Effective refinancing typically means lowering your current mortgage loan rate by at least one percent. You might also want to consider changing the length of your loan or receiving cash from the equity in your house.

Benefits of Refinancing
If you want to increase cash flow, refinancing to lower your monthly payment could help. Refinancing could also allow you to shorten your loan term if you qualify.

Using Home Equity
Many people borrow against the equity in their homes and use the cash to make improvements. Up to 90 percent of the appraised value of your home can be used to make home improvements. The equity you can use is based on the value of the home and what you currently owe, subject to applicable state laws. You can still refinance if you don't have much equity -- up to 90 percent loan-to-value (LTV) if you want to refinance your house for a new rate and term. A reappraisal of your property may be required.

Refinancing Costs
You will have closing costs associated with refinancing your loan, including points and processing fees. You may have the option of rolling these costs into the loan amount to reduce your cash out of pocket. To evaluate your options, use our Refinance Calculator.

Loan Programs

Fixed-Rate Mortgages
A fixed-rate mortgage means the interest rate and principal payments remain the same for the entire life of the loan. (Taxes, of course, may change.) Advantages include consistent principal and interest payments make this loan stable your rate won't change, so you don't need to worry about market fluctuations. A good choice if you're likely to stay in this house for a long time. Disadvantages include a possibly higher cost - these loans are usually priced higher than an adjustable-rate mortgage. Keep in mind that, on average, most people move or refinance within seven years. If rates in the current market are high, you're likely to get a better price with an adjustable-rate loan.

  • 30 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages offer consistent monthly payments for the entire 30 years you have the mortgage. So if the market is good, you can benefit from locking in a lower rate for the full term of the loan. The best choice if you're looking for a long-term, stable loan - for instance, if you're planning on staying in your house for some time.
  • 15 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages mean consistent monthly payments for all 15 years you have the mortgage. By building equity even more quickly than with a 30 year or 20 year loan, and paying less interest, you'll save money in the long run. It's an ideal option if you can handle the higher payments and if you'd like to have the loan paid off in a shorter period of time - for instance, if you plan to retire.

Here is a helpful glossary of mortgage and finance terms: