Monday, November 17, 2008

When to Refinance: 2nd Post

When Financial Situations Change

A change in the homeowner’s financial situation can also warrant investigation into the process of re-financing. A homeowner may find himself making considerably more money due to a change in jobs or considerably less money due to a lay off or a
change in careers. In either case the homeowner should investigate the possibility of re-financing. The homeowner may find an increase in pay may allow them to obtain a lower interest rate.

Alternately a homeowner who loses their job or takes a pay cut as a result of a change in careers may hope to refinance and consolidate their debt. This may result in the homeowner paying more because some debts are drawn out over a longer period of time but it can result in a lower monthly payment for the homeowner which may be advantageous at this juncture of his life.

When Interest Rates Drop

Interest rates dropping is the one signal that sends many homeowners rushing to their lenders to discuss the possibility of re-financing their home. Lower interest rates are certainly appealing because they can result in an overall savings over the course of the loan but homeowners should also realize that every time the interest rates drop, a re-finance of the home is not warranted. The caveat to re-financing to take advantage of lower interest rates is that the homeowner should carefully evaluate the situation to ensure the closing costs associated with re-financing do not exceed the overall savings benefit gained from obtaining a lower interest rate. This is significant because if the cost of re-financing is higher than the savings in interest, the homeowner does not benefit from re-financing and may actually lose money in the process.

The mathematics associated with determining whether or not there is an actual savings is not overly complicated but there is the possibility that the homeowner will make mistakes in these types of calculations. Fortunately there are a number of
calculators available on the Internet which can help homeowners to determine whether or not re-financing is worthwhile.

When to refinance

Whether or not to re-finance is a question homeowner may ask themselves many times while they are living in their home. Re-financing is essentially taking out one home loan to repay an existing home loan. This may sound odd at first but it is important to realize when this is done properly it can result in a significant cost savings for the homeowner over the course of the loan. When there is the potential for an overall savings it might be time to consider re-financing. There are certain situations which make re-financing worthwhile. These situations may include when the credit scores of the homeowners improve, when the financial situation of the homeowners improves and when national interest rates drop. This article will examine each of these scenarios and discuss why they may warrant a re-finance.

When Credit Scores Improve

There are currently so many home loan options available, that even those with poor credit are likely to find a lender who can assist them in realizing their dream of purchasing a home. However, those with poor credit are likely to be offered unfavorable loan terms such as high interest rates or variable interest rates instead of fixed rates. This is because the lender considers these homeowners to be higher risk than others because of their poor credit.

Fortunately for those with poor credit, many credit mistakes can be repaired over time. Some financial blemishes such as bankruptcies simply disappear after a number of years while other blemishes such as frequent late payments can be minimized by maintaining a more favorable record of repaying debts and demonstrating an ability to repay existing debts.

When a homeowner’s credit score improves considerable, the homeowner should inquire about the possibility of re-financing their current mortgage. All citizens are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Homeowners should take advantage of these three reports to check their credit each year and determine whether or not their credit has increased significantly. When they notice a significant increase, they should consider contacting lenders to determine the rates and terms they may be willing to offer.

Using of Existing Equity in the Home - Refinance Benefit

There are a number of benefits which may be associated with re-financing a home. While there are some situations where re-financing is not the right decision, there are a host of benefits which can be gained from re-financing under favorable conditions. Some of these benefits include lower monthly payments, debt consolidation and the ability to utilize the existing equity in the home. Homeowners who are considering re-financing should consider each of these options with their current financial situation to determine whether or not they wish to re-finance their home.

Using the existing equity in the home is another popular reason for re-financing. Homeowners who have a considerable amount of equity in their home may find they are able to cash out some of this equity for other purposes. This may include making improvements to the home, starting a business, taking a dream vacation or pursuing a higher degree of education. The homeowner is not limited in how they can use the equity in their home and may re-finance a home equity line of credit which can be used for any purpose imaginable. A home equity line of credit is different from a loan because the funds are not disbursed all at once. Rather the funds are made available to the homeowner and the homeowner can withdraw these finds at anytime during the draw period.

Refinance Benefit: Debt Consolidation

Some homeowners begin to investigate re-financing for the purpose of debt consolidation. This is especially true for homeowners who have high interest debts such as credit card debts. A debt consolidation loan enables the homeowner to use the existing equity in their home as collateral to secure a low interest loan which is large enough to repay the existing balance on the home as well as a number of other debts such as credit card debt, car loans, student loans or any other debts the homeowner may have.

When re-financing is done of the purpose of debt consolidation there is not always an overall increase in savings. Those who are seeking to consolidate their debts are often struggling with their monthly payments and are seeking an option which makes it easier for the homeowner to manage their monthly bills.

Additionally, debt consolidation can also simplify the process of paying monthly bills. Homeowners who are apprehensive about participating in monthly bill pay programs may be overwhelmed by the amount of bills they have to pay each month. Even if the value of these bills is not worrisome just the act of writing several checks each month and ensuring they are sent, on time, to the correct location can be overwhelming. For this reason, many homeowners often re-finance their mortgage to minimize the amount of payments they are making each month.

Lower Monthly Payments - Refinancing Benefit

For many homeowners the possibility of lower monthly payments is a very appealing benefit of re-financing. Many homeowners live paycheck to paycheck and for these homeowners finding an opportunity to increase their savings can be a monumental feat. Homeowners who are able to negotiate lower interest rates when they re-finance their home will likely see the benefit of lower monthly mortgage payments resulting from the decision to re-finance.

Each month homeowners submit a mortgage payment. This payment is typically used to repay a portion of the interest as well as a portion of the principle on the loan. Homeowners who are able to refinance their loan at a lower interest rate may see a decrease in the amount they are paying in both interest and principle. This may be due to the lower interest rate as well as the lower remaining balance. When a home is re-financed, a second mortgage is taken out to repay the first mortgage. If the existing mortgage was already a few years old, it is likely the homeowner already had some equity and had paid off some of the previous principle balance. This enables the homeowner to take out a smaller mortgage when they re-finance their home because they are repaying a smaller debt than the original purchase price of the home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Consult with refinancing expert

After determining the goals analyzed by ownself a homeowner should have a meeting with a refinancing expert to find out the best refinancing strategy before considering it. Because goals determined by ownself must not always be the right one and maximum homeowners may not know the strategy to refinance home. An expert only can explain it properly and may help to figure out the appropriate strategy.
This will likely be a strategy which is financially sound but is also still geared to meeting the needs of the homeowner.

Homeowners who feel as though they are particularly well versed in the subject of re-financing might consider skipping the option of consulting with a re-financing expert. However, this is not recommended because even the most educated homeowner may not be aware of the newest re-financing options being offered by lenders. While not understanding all the options may not seem like a big deal, it can have a significant impact. Homeowners may not even be aware of mistakes they are making but they may here of friends who re-financed under similar conditions and receive more favorable terms. Hearing these scenarios can be quite disheartening for some homeowners especially if they could have saved considerably more while re-financing.

Homeowners who are considering re-financing may realize the importance of evaluating a number of different re-financing options to determine which option is best but these same homeowners may not realize they should also carefully consider not re-financing as an option. This is often referred to as the “do nothing” option because it refers to the conditions which will exist if the homeowner does not make a change in their mortgage situation.

For each re-financing option considered, the homeowner should determine the estimated monthly payment, amount of interest paid during the course of the loan, year in which the loan will be fully repaid and the amount of time the homeowner will have to remain in the home to recoup closing costs associated with re-financing. Homeowners should also determine these values for the current mortgage. This can be very helpful for comparison purposes. Homeowners can compare these results and often the best option is quite clear from these numeric calculations. However, if the analysis does not yield a clear cut answer, the homeowner may have to evaluate secondary characteristics to make the best possible decision.

Determine Goals When Considering to Refinance

A homeowner firstly should determine his goals to refinance a home and also find out the reasons to consider it. There are many different reasons which may be necessarily right or wrong. The most important thing is that the homeowner must have to achieve his financial goals as well.

There are no appropriate answers to why we should consider refinance our home. It varies from person to person. Here is some common factors below:

* Reducing monthly mortgage payments
* Consolidating existing debts
* Reducing the amount of interest paid over the course of the loan
* Repaying the loan quicker
* Gaining equity quicker

Although the reasons listed above are not the only reason homeowners might consider re-financing, they are some of the most popular reasons. They are included in this article for the purpose of getting the reader thinking. The reader may find their mortgage re-financing strategy fits into one of the above goals or they may have a completely different reason for wanting to re-finance. The reason for wanting to re-finance is not as important as determining this reason. This is because a homeowner, or even a financial advisor, will have a difficult time determining the best re-financing option for a homeowner if he does not know the goals of the homeowner.