8 Strategies for Refinancing as Mortgage Rates Rise


So you want to refinance, but home loan rates are rising. Don’t worry – you haven’t missed the boat on your refi opportunity. Home loan rates are still historically low, plus they aren’t likely to exceed 5% in 2017, based on many economists and mortgage analysts.

Here are eight guidelines to help you successfully refinance your mortgage as rates rise.

1. Make your move fast

Even though rates aren’t likely to shoot over the top this year, they likely remain on a stable, upward trajectory.

“If you’re thinking about refinancing, now probably it’s time to get it done,” says Lauren Lyons Cole, a professional financial planner and cash editor at Consumer Reports, adding that minute rates are probably not going to be lower than they are at this time.

It’s worth doing your research to see what rate you can get after which acting swiftly before it’s too late.

2. Prepare in case rates drop

You’ll want to get your refinance application in as quickly as possible, not just to catch reduced rates before they rise, but additionally to avoid a backup in refinance applications should rates suddenly fall, based on Casey Fleming, author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.”

“This is the biggest mistake I believe people make,” Fleming says. “If you aren’t in the pipeline all set to go when the rates of interest start moving down, out of the blue you have to get in the rear of the road, and oftentimes you miss the dip in the rates.”

Fleming states that you aren’t obligated to lock in a rate when you submit your application. You can wait watching the marketplace for so long as you want.

If you’re not ready to submit the application just yet, work on keeping your credit rating up, have your financial documents all set to go, and save money for that upfront refinancing fees. Keep in mind that rates are rising slowly but steadily.

3. Make certain your credit rating is in good shape

Acting fast on a refinance may not be worth it in case your credit score isn’t in top condition. Your credit score plays many within the rate you can get on the mortgage. Just because reduced rates are available doesn’t mean you’ll be eligible for a them.

Lyons Cole states that, in some instances, your credit can be simply bolstered.?”I’ve seen people’s scores go from the 500s as much as the 700s within three months just from [quick changes] in your credit report.”

Some ways in which you can focus on your credit?include checking your credit score for errors, paying your debts on time and keeping a safe distance from?your borrowing limit.

“Mortgage rates aren’t going to increase a full point between now and subsequently 3 months,” Lyons Cole says. “Taking the time to obtain your credit score to some place in which you qualify for the best possible rate might make an enormous difference over the course of a 30-year mortgage.”

4. Use rising home prices to your advantage

Along with rates, house values are rising. Now might be a good chance of you to tap into your home’s equity through a cash-out refinance. If you do so, continue but be careful.?It’s risky to spend the arises from a cash-out refi on things that don’t rebuild your equity, just like a?car.

You may also access your home’s increasing value through a home loan or home equity credit line.

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5. Refinance into an ARM

Refinancing into an adjustable-rate mortgage inside a rising rate environment could make sense as these loans tend to include lower initial rates of interest than fixed mortgages. They’re especially useful if you are considering staying in your home no longer than the fixed term of the loan.

Jenny Erdmann, a professional financial planner and vice president of Guide My Finances in San Diego, says that so long as an ARM makes sense for you and you’re conscious of the drawbacks with this type of loan – such as the possibility that the rate may eventually increase – gradually alter obtain the lowest rate you can.

6. Refinance to a shorter term

Refinancing right into a shorter-term fixed-rate loan can save you money in two ways: interest rates are less than?a 30-year fixed-rate loan, and also the shorter-term means you will save more income within the life of the loan by paying less interest.

Here’s a good example: Using NerdWallet’s refinance calculator, we plugged in the numbers for a 30-year, $300,000 mortgage taken out this year with a 4.75% fixed interest rate. We refinanced it to a 15-year mortgage having a 3.50% fixed interest rate. Savings equated to $52,975 over Fifteen years. While your original monthly payment of $1,565 would take on an additional $311 each month, you would spend less money in the long run and build equity faster.

Take into consideration that if a 3.50% interest rate went up one fourth of the percentage point, your savings would decrease to $47,145 over a 15-year period, and?your payment per month would increase by $344.

7. Pay points

Before the loan closes, you’ll have the option to?pay points in your mortgage, that is paying money upfront, to?permanently lower your interest rate. Fleming says that “if the additional cost makes sense, then absolutely pay points.”

While one point equals 1% of the loan amount, you won’t always have the choice to pay for entirely points. The amount of money you have to pay to purchase down your rate depends upon the interest rate market, according to Fleming. He states that if the market is volatile, then you will probably have to pay more to buy on the rate. But if the marketplace is stable, then you’ll pay less. Fleming states that it could seem sensible that you should wait until rates stabilize so you can pay less.

8. Refinance out of a leg, HELOC

If?you’re concerned about the eye rate rising in your adjustable-rate mortgage or on your home equity credit line, refinancing to a fixed-rate product can allow you to lock in a brand new rate to?help make your monthly payments more predictable.

Fleming says that borrowers with a HELOC should?watch out for the recast period. This is when the draw period ends and you can no longer pay just the interest on the loan. Since minute rates are increasing, “anybody with a HELOC should definitely take a look at their options,” says Fleming.

Your options include calling your bank and seeing if you can switch your HELOC to a fixed rate, though the rate may go higher if you do. You can also refinance the HELOC right into a home loan at a fixed rate. Another option is to refinance the first mortgage and wrap the 2nd mortgage into it. However, Fleming says if you wind up refinancing to a higher rate, this tactic wouldn’t make much sense.

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