August 4, 2020

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Refinancing In 2020? Questions To Ask

Refinancing In 2020? Questions To Ask

Are you looking for a refinance loan in 2020? Refinancing your home loan can be a smart move for some homeowners, especially in times where rates are falling.

Mortgage loan interest rates in 2020 hit three-year interest rate lows due to a variety of factors including hangovers from trade war woes with China, the coronavirus, and other variables.

And that means more potential borrowing options in expensive housing markets like New York, California, and Washington D.C., as well as smaller markets where the falling interest rates have improved things for buyers as well. Why?

More affordable loans, rising property values (depending on the market), and the ability to pull more cash out of the home in a refi loan situation make applying more attractive.

Is your long-term home loan goal to save more money over the term of the mortgage? Or do you need lower mortgage payments now to shore up your financial bottom line?

When Should I Start Preparing For My Refinance Loan?

The best answer? As early as you can. As soon as you feel you want to explore your refi loan options, begin reviewing your credit reports and your record of on-time payments.

There should be NO late / missed payments for 12 months leading up to your loan application.

Should I Use My Current Lender?

Shop around. You may well end up using your current lender after all, but you won’t know who has the best terms until you ask. Some online sources indicate that you can save as much as $2 thousand by shopping around for a lender and comparing terms/conditions.

Your current lender may offer you a better deal if you shop around for a better loan and then come back to your current bank and ask to match or beat that offer.

What Do You Need The Loan To Help You With?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask about your refinance loan.

Do you need lower payments? A better interest rate? BOTH? Believe it or not, you may be able to negotiate an FHA refinance loan that could potentially do both thanks to the FHA Streamline Mortgage. Much depends on your specific needs and qualifications, but it’s an option worth exploring.

Those loans do not provide cash out at closing time; do you need your refi loan to provide cash back? There is a loan for that, too. Another type of FHA refinance loan can help you to repair or remodel your house at the same time.

Should I Finance Closing Costs And Appraisal Fees?

If you add closing costs or other expenses to the loan, the higher your mortgage payment potentially goes. Pay as many of the closing costs in cash as you can to prevent higher monthly payments.

Will There Be A Required Appraisal?

Any home loan refinance featuring cash back requires an appraisal. So will loans that require the current value of the home in order to determine the loan amount. Save up for appraisal fees in the planning stages of your home loan and keep your monthly payments low.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

February 21, 2020

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for

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About was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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