What to Know Before Refinancing (Refinansiering) Your Mortgage?

Although getting better loan terms is the main incentive and reason people choose to refinance, you should know that individual circumstances are more important than changing the terms or rates. 

It would be best to base your decision on your circumstances, which is essential to remember. Everything depends on your preferences, but mortgage rates should not be the essential factor for deciding. After checking here, you can learn how to refinance a commercial mortgage with ease. 

Instead, you should stay with us to learn more about essential considerations you should learn before you make up your mind. 

  1. Home Equity

The initial information you should review and understand is your current home equity. Therefore, if your household is worth less than it was before you got the initial mortgage, you have reached a point of negative equity. As a result, you should avoid refinancing because it does not come with any sense. 

Consumer confidence increased significantly nowadays compared with the beginning of the pandemic. It means that many homeowners have seen a significant increase in home equity. A few reports show US household owners with mortgages have seen a thirty percent equity increase. 

The number reached three trillion dollars, while the average gain is fifty thousand dollars per borrower. It means that the number of homeowners with negative equity issues significantly fell in the last few years. The number decreased by thirty percent. 

Of course, some households have not regained value, meaning homeowners will get a low equity solution. The best course of action is to have at least twenty percent equity, allowing you to qualify for a loan quickly. 

Refinancing without significant equity or little percentage is not always possible with banks and credit unions. Still, you can choose a government program that will allow you to meet your requirements. 

  1. Credit Score

You should know that lending institutions have increased their standards regarding loan approvals, especially in the last few years. Therefore, some people with good credit scores may not qualify for the best interest rates, which depends on numerous factors. 

Generally, most lending institutions wish to see a credit score of 760 or higher, which will allow them to qualify for the lowest mortgage interest rates. Therefore, borrowers with low credit scores will get higher fees and interest rates, meaning they should build a score beforehand. 

  1. Debt-to-Income Ratio

Suppose you have a home loan. In that case, you may think it is simple to get a new one. However, lending institutions have raised the bar regarding credit scores, while they have become more stringent regarding DTI or debt-to-income ratio. 

Although significant income, a stable and long job history, and substantial savings can help you qualify for a loan, lenders generally want to ensure the monthly housing payments are below thirty percent of your overall monthly income. 

Therefore, the DTI ratio should not exceed thirty-six percent, although some lenders (trans4mind refinansiering av gjeld) will have a slightly higher threshold or forty-three percent. Of course, the lower your ratio, the better terms you will get. That is why you should try to pay off the outstanding debts before refinancing. 

  1. The Additional Expenses

Everything depends on the lending institution, but the overall expenses can be between three and six percent of the amount you wish to get. Still, you should follow a few ways to help reduce the cost or roll everything into the loan, which is the most common solution. 

For instance, if you have enough equity, you can roll the expenses into a new loan, ultimately increasing the principal. Some lenders come with no-cost refinance, meaning you will get higher interest rates and pay the same as you would with closing expenses.

Therefore, we recommend you shop around and negotiate, since you can reduce and handle some fees throughout the process depending on the lending institution you choose. 

You should check out the US Department of Housing and Urban Development by visiting this link: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/ins/streamline to learn more about different government-backed home loans. 

  1. Terms vs. Rates

You should know that numerous borrowers decide to focus on interest rates, while you should consider other goals when refinancing, which will provide you peace of mind. Therefore, if your goal is to reduce the monthly expenses as much as possible, you should choose the loan with the most extended term and lowest interest rate. 

The faster you pay the mortgage, the lower interest you will eventually handle. However, longest term means you will end up paying significant interest throughout the loan’s life. Therefore, if you wish to reduce the overall amount of interest you will pay throughout the length of loan, you should consider the shortest term possible. 

Still, you should know that shortest-term loans come with higher monthly expenses.

  1. Refinancing Points

The main idea is to compare different offers, which will help you determine the best points and rates you can get. It is vital to remember that points include one percent of the loan amount, which is something you must pay to reduce the interest rate. 

Therefore, you can calculate how much you should pay in points, which will help you reduce the interest rate and save money. That way, you can wrap closing costs into the principal, another important consideration. 

Since lenders have created more challenging standards for loan approvals in the last few years, you should have a lower DTI and a higher credit score to get the terms and rates you wanted in the first place.

  1. Breakeven Point

Generally, the essential calculation is handling a breakeven point, which you should consider before refinancing. We are talking about a point at which you can cover the refinancing expenses by considering your monthly savings. After that point, the savings will remain with you.

You can save a hundred dollars monthly if you refinance a thousand dollars for closing expenses. However, if you wish to sell or move from your home in the next few years, we can avoid refinancing altogether. You will need ten months to reach a breakeven point and recoup the expenses. 

  1. PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance

If you do not place twenty percent of the down payment during the application process, you will not have a twenty percent equity. As a result, you must pay private mortgage insurance to protect a lender against a potential default. 

For instance, if your home depreciates since the purchase, you may discover that you should pay private mortgage insurance for the first time, especially if you refinance. The reduced payments may not be low enough to help you handle additional expenses. 

That is why you should calculate whether you can spare twenty percent for a down payment or you should pay the insurance in the next few years until you boost overall equity. 

  1. Taxes

Generally, consumers relied on mortgage interest deductions to reduce federal bills and taxes. Therefore, if you refinance and get a lower interest rate, the deduction will also go down. Still, thinking that you will save money on interest will urge you to refinance. 

You should know that obtaining an interest deduction during the first few years after getting a loan is possible. Therefore, the interest portion will increase and reach a higher point than other options. When you decide to increase the size of your loan, which may happen due to rolling closing costs into a principal, that will affect the interest percentage.

According to TCJA or Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, you can use the mortgage interest deduction by following a regulation. The new deduction comes with a threshold for married couples, which reaches twenty-five thousand per couple. 

However, if you wish to refinance a significant mortgage, you can deduct the interest up to one million dollars. However, nowadays, the mortgage debt limit is $750 thousand for homes bought after 2017. Since the changes affected people from across the US, you should tax with a financial or tax advisor to get relevant information. 

Tips for Building Home Equity

  • Sizeable Down Payment – You should know that making a significant down payment will help boost equity from the beginning. Everything depends on the mortgage you choose, but you can put zero percent for VA loans (by entering here, you can visit the VA official website) and three percent for other government options, while placing a large percentage will immediately affect your equity. At the same time, you will reduce the amount you owe interest rate and get a chance to tap the equity as time goes by. We recommend you put down at least twenty percent, which will prevent additional expenses from PMI or private mortgage insurance. 
  • Boost Property Value – You should know that making home improvements can help increase your home’s value, which will translate into higher equity. The main idea is that you will not recoup the money used for home projects. Still, you can obtain a return on investment. You should conduct research before taking on the next remodeling project. It includes talking with a home professional or real estate agent to determine the best projects you can make to increase the property’s curb appeal and value. The main goal is to avoid putting too much money into a renovation that will not affect the home’s value. 
  • Pay More Than Monthly Installment – You should know that mortgages feature an amortization schedule, meaning you will pay both interest and principal. It means you should pay extra by choosing biweekly payments, but you should do it only if it does not affect your financial situation. Of course, large portion of monthly installment goes towards the interest especially during the first half of your thirty-year loan for instance. If you decide to pay additional amount each month, the chances are high that you can boost equity faster and reduce overall debt.