1. Credit Score
Your credit score plays a large part when it comes to refinancing your home. 9 out of 10 credit reports that I see can be improved by doing small little things such as paying a little bit extra on your revolving accounts to get the balance below 50 percent of the available credit.
Although mortgage rates in Minnesota are near historic lows, improving your credit score can lower the rate you are qualified for by a quarter of a percent which can save you thousands over the life of your loan. Take the extra time that is needed to improve your score as mortgage rates usually do not change dramatically overnight.
2. Term of Your Mortgage
There is a lot of consideration that should be taken when determining whether a 15 year fixed mortgage or a 30 year fixed mortgage is correct for you.
Although a 30 year mortgage does give you the flexibility of having the lowest overall monthly payment, you will pay a considerable amount more in interest over the life of the loan. However, the interest paid can be reduced by making extra payments towards your mortgage.
If you are tight on cash, a 30 year fixed mortgage may be the best option for you, however, if you are not strapped for cash consider refinancing into a 15 year or even 20 year fixed mortgage. On a shorter term mortgage you still have the option of making extra payments towards you mortgage saving you even more in interest over the life of your loan.
3. Mortgage Rate
The mortgage rate you receive on a refinance can be the largest factor into how much you save over the life of your loan. However, be sure to weigh the options of potential savings in costs on a higher rate loan.
For example, a $100,000 loan at 4 percent over 30 years would add up to total payments of $171,871. If you were to take a 4.25 percent rate and received an additional $3,500 in credit towards your loan and had a new loan amount of $96,500 your total payments over 30 years would be $170,899, saving you about $1,000 over the life of the loan.
In summary, make sure you get your credit score up to par so that you can take advantage of the lowest mortgage rate on the best term possible when it comes to refinancing your home.
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