what you need to refinance your mortgage

common home buying mistakes First-time Home Buying. 10 First-time Homebuyer Mistakes. by Jane McGrath Prev NEXT . Mistake 10: Not Budgeting for Your First Home Loan. If you’re like most people and need to take out a loan to buy a house, you’ll have to make monthly mortgage payments. It’s a common mistake to assume what you can or can’t afford.

keeping your debt utilization low (if not at zero), and having a long credit history. You also need to show you can handle a.

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It’s hardly worth it to refinance your mortgage to save $15 a month under these circumstances. Most mortgage experts say you should be able to recoup your costs from mortgage refinancing over a 3-year period. If you’ve saved only $15 a month and it cost you $3,000 in fees, it would take 200 months to break even.

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For example, if interest rates are lower than when you got your mortgage or your credit has improved recently, you may qualify for a lower interest rate. You may save money over the long run and can also lower your monthly payment. But here’s the catch. If you lock into that lower interest rate and refinance for another 30-year mortgage, you’re adding time to the loan term.

When you refinance, you may have the option to tap into your home’s equity. If you owe less than 80% of the home’s value, the lender may let you borrow up to 80%. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, though. Before you take equity out of your home, figure out why you are doing so.

For example, if you currently owe $100,000 on your mortgage and you want to roll in your closing costs when you refinance, you could end up with a new loan amount of $103,000. It’s important to realize that these additional fees are substantial, so don’t jump into refinancing just because you can roll them into the loan amount instead of paying them out of pocket now.

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This handy mortgage refinance checklist tells you what you need to do before refinancing. Get your paperwork in order and know your refinance goals to speed up the process and save money.

And if you are paying private mortgage insurance, a refinance helps you get rid of it to reduce payments if your home has gained 20% in value since you purchased it. Lower interest rates – Mortgage interest rates fell drastically in 2012, and 2013 rates have stayed low since.