Refinancing Tips: What You Need to Know to Snag Today's Rock-Bottom Rates
But before you go running off to your lender to catch the best rates since 1951, settle down and get yourself straight. According to the LendingTree Marketplace Survey, many people are making major mistakes in the refinancing process that can be quite costly.
LendingTree surveyed its network of lenders and asked what are the biggest mistakes they see folks making when refinancing their home loan. These were the top five mistakes the survey revealed:
But what dumbfounded Mona Marimow, senior vice president at LendingTree, was that one out of three people didn't even know their current mortgage rate.1. Over-estimating the value of the home: With home values dropping in today's market, borrowers typically over-value their home, causing borrowers to receive higher-than-expected loan offers.
2. Hesitating to lock in low rates: Lenders are seeing borrowers waiting for rates to drop further, missing out on the opportunity to lock-in with the current low rates.
3. Focusing only on interest rates: Borrowers are focused only on rates when they should also factor in lender fees, loan terms and lender reputations into their ultimate decision.
4. Overlooking shorter-term loans: Many borrowers are refinancing into a 30-year fixed mortgage instead of considering other options such as a 20-year or 15-year fixed rate, which would shorten the life of the loan and significantly reduce the amount paid to interest.
5. Consumers are uncertain of what documents are required to refinance: Borrowers who haven't refinanced in recent years sometimes fail to have the required document going into refinancing which delays the closing process.
Secondly, she says, many people who go into the refinancing process are completely unaware of the value of their home and the impact that will have when they try to refinance.
So what should you do before you call your lender? "Gather all your financial information," she says. "Ensure you know your current rate, understand the value of your home, credit score and income. Leverage an objective resource for free calculators and advice, and the ability to shop around to get multiple competitive offers."