Check Your Homeowners Insurance
Most lenders require you to have homeowners insurance and to make payments toward the cost of this insurance as part of your monthly mortgage bill. You may be able to reduce this cost by shopping for new homeowners insurance or speaking to your current insurance company about lowering your premiums. If you are successful, you may be able to lower your monthly mortgage payment too.
Refinance To A Longer Term
Gaining more time to repay is another popular reason for refinancing. If you’ve made payments on a 30-year loan for a few years, for example, you could refinance the remainder back out to 30 years. This would likely result in a lower monthly payment amount.
But refinancing into another 30-year mortgage means you’ll pile on additional interest charges, especially if you’ve been making monthly payments for a significant amount of time. So, weigh the pros and cons of this option carefully to be sure that it’s the best way to reduce your monthly mortgage payments.
Refinancing And Extra Payments: Alternatives To A Mortgage Recast
Recasting isnt the only way to lower your payment or put your extra money to work. Instead, consider a mortgage refinance.
Refinancing might offer you a better deal if you can lower your interest rate, Steiner suggests.
A mortgage refinance can lower your monthly payment at the cost of extending your loan and possibly repaying more money overall.
But usually refinancing involves more expensive fees, scrutiny of your credit, and paperwork.
Alternatively, look into making accelerated mortgage payments also called prepaying your mortgage.
Like a mortgage recast, this move helps reduce the total interest youll pay over the life of your loan. And you dont have to come up with a hefty lump sum onetime payment. The drawback here is that your payment doesn’t go down.
Lastly, consider investing that lump sum money instead.
You may be able to earn a higher rate of interest in stocks, bonds, or other securities.
The risk is that your rate of return isnt guaranteed you may lose money when investing.
Read Also: Can You File Bankruptcy On A Second Mortgage
Refinow And Refi Possible
On June 5, 2021, Fannie Mae began to offer low-income mortgage holders a new refinance option through a program called RefiNow, meant to reduce their monthly payments and interest rates. Beginning in late August 2021, Freddie Mac will begin offering the exact same program, which is called Refi Possible. In order to be eligible, homeowners must be earning at or below 80% of their area median income .
Fannie Mae’s RefiNow program offers several benefits for homeowners. First, it requires a reduction in the homeowners interest rate by a minimum of 50 basis points and a savings of at least $50 in the homeowners monthly mortgage payment. Second, Fannie Mae will provide a $500 credit to the lender at the time the loan is purchased if an appraisal was obtained for the transaction, and this credit must be passed on from the lender to the homeowner.
In order to qualify for Fannie Mae’s RefiNow program, a homeowner must meet these qualifications:
- Be in a possession of a Fannie Mae-backed mortgage secured by a 1-unit, principal residence.
- Have a current income at or below 80% of the AMI
- Never missed a mortgage payment in the past six months and no more than one missed mortgage payment in the past 12 months.
- Be in possession of a mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio up to 97%, a debt-to-income ratio of 65% or less, and a minimum 620 FICO score.
Can I Lower My Mortgage Interest Rate Without Refinancing
Your mortgage interest rate plays a major part in determining how affordable your loan is, and the easiest way to trade a higher rate for a lower one is through a mortgage refinance.
There is one way you can get a lower mortgage interest rate without refinancing, however.
The only way I know of lowering your interest rate without refinancing is via a loan modification, Michael Becker, a branch manager at Sierra Pacific Mortgage in Lutherville, Md., told LendingTree.
A mortgage modification allows you to change the original terms of your home loan due to a financial hardship. Your lender may adjust your loan by:
- Extending your loan term
- Reducing your principal balance
- Lowering your mortgage rate
Not every borrower can get a loan modification, though. Typically, you must either be behind on your mortgage or anticipate that youll miss your monthly mortgage payments.
There are significant risks with this option it should only be pursued in dire situations.
I think lenders may still allow a borrower to modify a loan, Becker said, but I think theyll likely have to prove financial stress and even go late on their mortgage, thereby wrecking their credit.
Falling just 30 days behind on your mortgage payments can drop your credit score by as much as 110 points, according to FICO research.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Average Cost Of A Mortgage Refinance
Get Your Mortgage Paperwork In Order
You need a lot of documentation that proves your financial readiness to refinance.
The documents you should have handy include your latest pay stubs, the last two years of W-2s, information about your current home loan, as well as information on property taxes and home insurance.
If youre self-employed or have a non-traditional job, have two years of bank statements available. You may also need a profit and loss statement from your bank, the last two years of 1099 forms and client invoices as proof of income.
A lender may have additional documentation requirements depending on their initial assessment of your finances. Once you have decided on a lender, find out about any other requirements so you can get it together ahead of time. Doing so will make the application process a lot smoother.
Remember The Big Picture
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to whether you should try to lower your monthly payment. Doing so can lead to paying more interest in the long run, but that might not be a concern if you sell the home or refinance in a few years. And, even if you have to pay more interest, lowering your monthly payment is likely a good idea if you need to free up room in your budget to afford all your bills. In short, consider the pros and cons to each approach and how they’ll impact your overall financial situation.
Recommended Reading: Is It Better To Use A Mortgage Broker
Signs You Might Be Eligible For A Lower Rate
There are a few signs you should look out for that could make you eligible for an interest rate reduction. You can talk about these signs when negotiating to give you more credibility in your argument.
1. Your rate is more than a year old
Interest rates are currently at a record low, meaning that borrowers who got their loan even just a year ago could be paying more in interest than they need to. Itâs important to regularly check and compare your interest rate with the newer rates your lender and other lenders are offering.
2. Your equity has grown since you got your loan or last refinanced
Calculate your equity in 15 seconds
See how much cash you could access from your property.
Equity tells you how much of your property you own outright. Itâs not just calculated based on how much of your loan balance youâve paid off. Itâs calculated by determining the difference between your loan balance and the current value of your property.
Since property values fluctuate, you may be surprised about how much equity you have. Renovations, home improvements and changes in the property market can all influence your equity. A higher equity can indicate to lenders that you are good at making repayments or, for example, that your home is in a high-growth area that would make it easy to sell should you default on your repayments.
- Related:guide to equity home loans
3. Your credit has improved since you first got your loan
Want To Refinance Your Mortgage Do These 7 Things Now
- Leslie Cook
A key question for a homeowner to answer is whether or not its a good time to refinance their mortgage, especially in todays environment with mortgage rates seesawing around 3%.
About 11.2 million homeowners could reduce their interest rate by at last 0.75 percentage points if they refinance their home loans at current mortgage rates, according to mortgage data firm Black Knight. Experts agree that a rate reduction of this size generally makes the whole refi process worthwhile in terms of cost versus savings.
The savings a refi can provide are sizable as well. These homeowners could save an aggregate of $3.1 billion per month or about $279 per month per borrower. About 1.2 million homeowners could save over $500 per month by refinancing at todays rates.
If your current rate is near 4% or higher, its worth the time to find out if a mortgage refinance makes sense for you. But the refi process takes time. It took an average of 43 days to close a refinance loan in September, according to ICE Mortgage Technology. Its best if you get started as soon as possible.
If youre not sure where to start, these seven tips can point you in the right direction.
Also Check: How Do Mortgage Appraisals Work
When Its A Good Idea To Refinance Your Mortgage
Generally, if refinancing will save you money, help you build equity and pay off your mortgage faster, its a good decision.
Even borrowers who have fairly new mortgages might be able to benefit from refinancing. Say you were approved for your mortgage at the start of 2020. Although youre less than two years into your loan, the ability to now lower your interest rate by one-half to three-quarters of a percentage point can substantially lower your monthly payment and reduce the interest over the life of the loan.
So, when is it a bad idea to refinance? For the above example, it might not be smart to refinance if you plan to move in the next two years, which gives you little time to recoup the cost.
The question of when to refinance is not just about interest rates or your timeline, either its about your credit being good enough to qualify for the right refinance loan. The best rates and terms go to those with the best credit, so check your credit report to have a solid understanding of your risk profile. If youre carrying a high credit card balance or youve missed a payment recently, you might look like a riskier borrower.
Appeal Your Homes Assessed Value With The County
Property taxes are high the average is 1%. In some states, such as Texas, they are really high, over 2% of the propertys assessed value every year.
If you think youre paying too much property tax and your homes value should be lower than it is, you can appeal the tax assessment with the county.
Get your county tax assessment of your home and verify they have everything listed correctly. Do they have the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, right?
The square footage, how many acres you actually have, are all of these correct? If not, you can contact your local tax assessor and let them know they have incorrect facts listed in their report.
Read Also: How To Get Assistance With Mortgage Payments
Extend The Term Of Your Mortgage
If a lower payment is your goal, extending the term of your loan can help you get there. A longer mortgage term spreads out the loan balance over more payments.
Heres an example: Lets say you bought your home 10 years ago with a $200,000 30-year-fixed loan. Without accounting for taxes and insurance, your payment, at 4.5% interest, is $1,013.
Now lets say you want to lower your mortgage payment. Since youve been paying on your loan for 10 years, youve reduced the balance to about $160,000. By getting a new 30-year fixed loan, youd spread the smaller balance over 30 years. Your new payment, at the same interest rate, would be just $811. Thats a savings of over $300 a month.
Build Or Use Home Equity
During times of financial hardship or stress, you can refinance your mortgage to tap into your current home equity and get some financial relief. Keep in mind, though, that the first few years of a 25 or 30 year mortgage are spent paying interest rather than the principle amount. That means you most likely wont be able to build up a significant amount of home equity unless the value of your home drastically increases in the time. Also, reducing your current loan term will increase your monthly or bi-weekly payments.
Ways To Lower Your Mortgage Interest Payment
For most homeowners, your mortgage is your greatest monthly expense. If monthly bills are weighing you down, youre probably thinking about ways to trim your grocery budget, get rid of unneeded subscriptions or reduce your heating and cooling costs. All these tweaks can add up to big savings. But did you know that if you lower your mortgage interest payment, youll likely have the biggest impact on your budget and the amount of cash you have in the bank?
If your mortgage is feeling a little heavy, check out these effective ways to lower your mortgage interest payment.
Consequences Of Not Refinancing
Any plan for reducing monthly payments without refinancing will have financial consequences. While one of these consequences might be having more money for investing and other spending, another could be continuing to pay a higher interest rate than would be available through refinancing. Some borrowers will decide that refinancing is the best option, even if it means extending the loan term or going through the sometimes complex process of applying for refinancing.
You May Like: What Is A Good Dti For A Mortgage
Rent Out A Room In Your Home
This isnt the ideal scenario for most people. But when things are really tight, you can rent out a room in your home.
If you have a house and a spare bedroom, you could bring in an extra $500 a month or more to help reduce your mortgage payment. Get a room cleaned out and check Craigslist to research how much you should charge.
It doesnt have to be a permanent situation, type up a 1-year lease, and at the end of it, you can decide to renew or kick them out.
Apply For Mortgage Forbearance
If you experience a short-term financial setback and worry youll be unable to afford your monthly mortgage payment, a forbearance agreement may provide temporary relief.
Forbearance can temporarily lower your mortgage payments during a short-term financial hardship.
During mortgage forbearance, your lender may agree to suspend or lower your mortgage payments for a specific period of time. At the end of the forbearance period, payments resume as normal, and you may have to make up the missed amount in some way.
If youre interested in forbearance, its important to contact your lender before missing a payment, not after.
NerdWallet’s coronavirus resources page tracks the latest developments, including information on loan and payment relief, ways to cope and how to best manage your personal finances.
If you can’t make your full mortgage payment, or you’re worried that you won’t be able to make the payments soon, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. You may be eligible for mortgage forbearance, temporary relief in which the lender allows you to make lower monthly payments, or no payments at all, for a specified time. NerdWallet’s article about mortgage forbearance explains the basics.
See what types of mortgage relief programs are available to homeowners who are worried about making their house payments due to the coronavirus outbreak.
You May Like: How To Recruit Mortgage Loan Officers
Consider The Cost To Refinance
Before you decide on refinancing your TD Mortgage or a TD Home Equity FlexLine, be sure to look at all potential costs. Prepayment charges may apply if the agreement is ended before the term is done. There may also be associated fees for mortgage registration and property valuation.
But if youre able to take advantage of lower interest rates, your overall savings may make it worthwhile.
How Your Mortgage Rate Is Determined
Several factors help determine the mortgage rate youre offered, including:
- Your credit score. The higher your score, the lower your rate will be.
- Your down payment amount. The larger your down payment, the lower your rate tends to be.
- Your mortgage amount. Larger loans often qualify for lower interest rates than smaller loans.
- Your repayment term. Shorter-term loans, like a 15-year mortgage, tend to have lower rates.
- Your mortgage program. Conventional loans will have varying rates compared with FHA or VA loans, for example.
- Your interest rate type. Fixed-rate loans tend to have higher rates than variable rate loans but you get the security of a rate that never changes.
- Your homes location. The mortgage market can be highly localized, and rates in one town may be different from those in another.
- Your mortgage points. Mortgage points are essentially an optional, upfront fee you pay to get a mortgage rate reduction.
You May Like: How To Remove Pmi From Mortgage Payment