It is vital to accurately assess all factors involved with refinancing. If you don't know whether or not to refinance, consider several things. First, an important upfront term to consider is pre-payment or payoff penalties. Somewhere in the fine print of some loans, there is a clause stating that the homeowner has to pay a penalty if he or she pays off the loan before a pre-specified amount of time (usually one to three years). Always check for this before refinancing.
Second, consider how much of your home's price is tied up in your mortgages. If you've refinanced for more than 80 percent of your home's appraisal value, you often must purchase private mortgage insurance, or PMI. This insurance protects the bank in case you can't manage the payments on the home. Finally, be sure to check your savings versus your total cost of the loan. If you've only got 10 years left to pay off your mortgage, why increase it to 30 years to save a few dollars a month? We offer a mortgage calculator on our Downs Financial, Inc. website to help answer these important questions.
It used to be that the standard rule was that you should refinance your home if a new rate offered to you was at least one percentage point lower than your current rate. Now, though, with the size of today's mortgages, even a half a point difference can save you thousands of dollars in interest over a 15 to 30 year period.
For example, consider a $100,000 loan borrowed at seven percent instead of eight percent over 30 years. In this case, you would save around $25,000 over the length of the loan! You owe it to yourself and your checkbook to do the math on a refinancing opportunity, as it can be well worth it in the long run.