To start off with, the basic definition of a mortgage refinancing or refinance mortgage is to have your existing mortgage re-written for a specific reason.
The most common reason for refinancing an existing mortgage is to gain access to additional funds for some particular purpose.
Effectively you end up with a new mortgage out of the old one with potentially different rates and terms.
The specific reasons for refinancing can include lowering your interest rate, changing certain terms of the mortgage including the amortization period, securing additional funds for expenditure or investment, or gaining additional funds to consolidate other debts.
Some mortgage programs can be specific to the use of the additional funds, but this has become less and less of a requirement over the last few years.
Examples of different application of the funds from a new mortgage include:
Mortgage refinancing to secure a lower interest rate may or may not involve any additional funds or a higher mortgage amount, but it does involve paying out an existing mortgage as well as all the costs associated with creating the new mortgage.
Borrowers will typically seek out lower interest rates during a time period when rates have dropped and it becomes favorable to refinance an existing mortgage term to take advantage of the lower rates available.
Getting out of a higher rate interest term will likely cost you some money in the form of prepayment penalty, but if you stay with the same mortgage provider, the refinancing process typically will blend your existing rate term with the new rate term to come up with an new lower cost interest rate where you’re not out of pocket.
But for the most part, mortgage refinancing involves what we call equity take out where you’re using the available equity in your home to gain access to additional funds that can be used for a multitude of purposes.
The most common and most powerful application of a cash out mortgage refinancing is to consolidate higher cost consumer debt into lower cost mortgage products. This can be accomplished through both bank or institutional mortgage and private financing.
If consumer debt starts to get a bit out of control and is negatively impacting your monthly cash flow, refinancing your mortgage is an excellent solution to consider.
With interest rates on credit cards in the high teens, a mortgage refinance can not only drop your interest rate by more than half, but it also affords you a longer period for paying back the debt and allowing your cash flow to recover in the process.
And whether you have good credit or bad credit, there can still be refinancing options available to you that will lower the overall cost of capital you’re currently paying as well as improving your cash flow.
The key to any refinance action is to clearly understand the options that are available to you, and then compare them against each other to see what alternative is going to be the most cost effective and cash flow friendly.
This is going to require accurately calculating the related costs for each possible scenario so that an apples to apples comparison is possible.
The ultimate goal is to be able to make a solid financial decision based on the best information available.
So whether you’re wanting to lower your interest rate, planning to take a trip, consolidating debt, remodeling the basement, or put your kids through university, refinancing your mortgage is definitely an approach worth considering.