If you are thinking of mortgage refinance to bail you out of your credit woes, take an honest look at your financial circumstance. Even if you qualify for a loan, there are factors you should carefully consider or you may risk your family’s future.
Can you afford the monthly rates?
Prospective borrowers are enticed to latch on to the mortgage refinance train because of the promise of low interest rates. Low interest rates are not always the best deals. There are also points to consider when signing up for years of payback, which is usually about 30 years.
Mortgage rates may vary depending on the mortgage term and the interest rates. If you go for a long term mortgage, which is 30 years, you will be paying $660 monthly compared to the monthly $1,162 for a shorter 15 year loan. But all these will depend on the lender and the prevailing market price.
The first question to ask is: how much loan can I afford? This is a realistic approach to self-assessment. If you are earning a minimal annual income of $22,000, you can qualify for a 30-year loan that requires a monthly payment of $454 or an interest rate of 4%.
The higher the income bracket, the bigger the loan amount allowed. These ratios provide lenders a better idea of how borrowers will perform, aside from reviewing credit scores and assessing your present debts and the house to be refinanced.
Is your credit performance good?
The second question is your credit performance. If this is good, your chances for a loan approval are high, but this should be coupled with sufficient income.
Should you go for fixed or adjustable rate?
The third question: should you go for fixed or adjustable rates? A fixed rate offers stability throughout the mortgage refinance loan life. If you are going to stay in the house for more than five years, this is the best option.
If you expect to reside in the new house for only five years, the ARM is recommended, although there is the risk of higher mortgage payment when the ARM resets or fluctuates to higher rates.
The attractive low ARM rates is inducement enough. But when the rates increase, will your income increase? Aye, there’s the rub.
Short term or long term
Sure, you get a lower interest rate for a 30 year loan term. But that is paying an extra decade of interests. But you can also make an extra payment per year to shorten the loan term.
The shorter term will have higher monthly payment for the principal is increased but then the interest rates are lowered. You save more money and release yourself from an obligation of another 15 years of your mortgage refinance loan.
Are there other fees?
As a borrower, try to avoid excessive fees charged by lenders in the form of mortgage origination fee, appraisal fee, inspection fee, credit report fee, mortgage insurance fee, and underwriting fees. Know that these can be negotiated because lenders know they have competition.
Regarding title charges, check if the attorney’s fees are already incorporated into the closing costs of the mortgage agreement. Knowing these will help you determine how much more you are going to spend.
Don’t be intimidated when lenders start charging fees. Demand to know if these fees can be negotiated. Remember that you are the borrower and the one paying the mortgage refinance loan for a number of years.