Depending on your goals and financial situation, refinancing may not always be your best option. While refinancing offers a lot of benefits, you’ll also have to weigh the risks.
For example, refinancing your mortgage usually restarts the amortization process. So, if you are five years into paying on a 30-year loan and you decide to take out a new 30-year mortgage, you’ll be making mortgage payments for 35 years. For some homeowners this is a good plan, but if you’re already, say, 10 or 20 years into your mortgage then the lifetime interest may not be worth the extra costs. In these instances, many homeowner refinance into a shorter-term loan that won’t extend the time they will make mortgage payments, such as a 20 or 15 year mortgage (which often times also offer lower rates than 30-year loans).
Generally, refinancing is a good option if the new interest rate is lower than the interest rate on your current mortgage, and the total savings amount outweighs the cost to refinance. For example, if you have $390,000 remaining on a $400,000 loan at 4.25%, replacing your existing mortgage at 3.75% can earn savings of $162 per month compared to your previous loan.*
Use our mortgage calculators to estimate what your new monthly mortgage payments might be.