Refinance FAQs

Refinancing can provide significant savings on your home mortgage. But it’s not for everyone. Read through these Frequently Asked Questions and contact a Mortgage Lenders of America loan officer if you’d like assistance.

What is a refinance loan?

Refinancing is the replacement of an existing mortgage with new mortgage under different terms, most commonly length (such as switching from 30-year to 15-year) or rate.

What are the main reasons to consider refinancing?

There are many reasons to refinance, but the main ones are lowering your monthly payment, consolidating high interest debt or getting cash out, financing a large purchase, or shortening the length of your mortgage term. In general, a refinance application will take only a couple of hours of your time from start to finish and could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

How much can I save by refinancing?

The amount you can save by refinancing is going to vary depending on your situation such as the terms of your current loan, your current credit score and income, what you are trying to achieve, as well as market conditions. You can use our “Should I Refinance?” calculator to explore possible scenarios or speak to a loan officer who can help you determine the best approach based on all of the variables.

How do I know if refinancing is the best move for me?

First, determine your reason for refinancing—improving monthly cash flow, reducing your mortgage term, getting cash back out of the equity you have in your home, etc.  Once you know what you want to accomplish, contact a mortgage lender to determine what mortgage program will best meet your needs and to make sure the benefit to refinancing outweighs the cost. This is often referred to as "net tangible benefit." 

How do I know if I qualify?

The best candidates for refinancing have steady incomes, 10 to 20% equity in their homes, and a credit score of 620 or better. However, you may qualify even if you don’t meet these criteria. Contact one of our loan officers for more information about available loan programs.

Are there closing costs associated with a refinance?

Because a refinance loan is a new loan, there will be closing costs. However, like other mortgages, you may be able to ‘roll’ certain closing costs into the new loan.

How long does it take to complete the refinancing process?

The application process takes about 20 minutes, and depending on the type of loan you have, will require some documentation such as pay stubs and W2s. In general, we estimate that a refinance will take about an hour of your time upfront and another hour at the time of closing. Processing of the refinance loan varies based on how long it takes for you to gather and submit the necessary documentation as well as the number of other loans being processed at the time of submission. Most refinances can be completed in less than thirty days and some in as little as ten days, depending on the situation. It's always a good idea to check with your loan officer on current processing time-frames. 

Do I have to refinance with my current lender?

You do not need to work with your current lender to refinance. Just with any major financial decision, you should explore your options and find the lender that is best able to help you accomplish your refinancing goals.

Whether you want to lower your payment, shorten the term of your loan, or take cash-out, the best way to get started is to speak with a loan officer who can help you determine the best loan program to achieve your goals.