From taking advantage of a lower monthly payment to ditching your FHA mortgage insurance, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to refinance.
But how much should you expect to pay? Let’s take a look at the average cost of a refinance and what you might expect to pay for each of your closing costs.
|Title insurance and search||$900|
|Loan origination fee||About 1% of your principal balance|
|Total:||$2,300 plus 1% of loan principal|
Best Places to Refinance
Refinance Fees Explained
Just like when you get a home loan, you’ll need to pay a variety of costs at closing when you refinance a mortgage. The specific costs you’ll pay and fees you’ll face will vary depending on your mortgage refinance options and where you live. As a general rule, you can expect to pay 2% to 3% of the total value of your loan when you refinance.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common refinancing closing costs, the average cost of each item and what each fee covers.
Before you receive a decision on your refinance, your lender will bill you for the cost of processing your application. The application fee usually covers the cost of a credit check and an underwriting analysis of the financial information you submit with your refinance. Some of the best refinance mortgage companies have eliminated the application fee, but most lenders still charge them in some capacity.
Expect to pay about $200 for your refinance application fee if your lender charges 1. Keep in mind that this fee is due even if you aren’t approved for a refinance, so make sure you meet your new lender’s criteria before you apply.
An appraisal is a professional estimation of the amount of money your home is worth. During an appraisal, a home value expert called an appraiser will take a walk around your home, do some outside research and assign a value to your home.
Lenders require a new appraisal on most refinances. This is because they need to be sure that your home value hasn’t fallen since you bought your house. New appraisals are required on all forms of cash-out refinances.
Not every type of refinance requires an appraisal. If your lender requires you to get a new appraisal, you can expect to pay about $500 for this fee.
Title Insurance and Search
Title insurance is a type of protection that safeguards both you and your lender from competing claims on the property you’re buying. During a title search, a title insurance company will research the history of the property to ensure that you don’t have any liens or claims on the property that will prevent the lender from seizing it if you default on your mortgage.
When you refinance with a new lender, you’ll usually need to pay for another title search and title insurance policy. The title search and insurance process typically cost a total of about $900. The good news is that, unlike other types of insurance, you don’t need to pay for title insurance every month — after you pay for it once at closing, you’re protected for as long as you have your loan.
Loan Origination Fee
Your loan origination fee is typically the largest expense you’ll pay when you refinance your mortgage. The loan origination fee compensates your lender for drawing up the paperwork for your loan, calculating your interest rate and scheduling the inspections and appraisals you’ll need before you can close your refinance.
It's impossible to put an exact dollar estimate on the loan origination fee because most lenders charge you a set percentage fee based on the value of your loan. As a general rule, expect to pay about 1% of the total value of your loan. For example, if you’re refinancing a $200,000 loan, you’ll typically pay around $2,000 in a loan origination fee.
In some states, attorneys must review and approve loan paperwork before you can sign off on your refinance. They might need to review your loan agreement to make sure that it contains no illegal clauses and that your lender has correctly calculated your fees and interest rates. An attorney may also need to be present at the closing table to verify your mortgage refinance.
Attorneys’ fees can vary by state. Expect to pay about $700 in these fees if your refinance requires it.
Why You Should Refinance Your Mortgage
Refinancing your mortgage can be a smart financial move for a variety of reasons. Here are some reasons why you should consider it.
Lower Interest Rates
Refinancing your mortgage allows you to take advantage of lower interest rates, which can significantly decrease your monthly mortgage payments. This can save you money over the long term and free up extra cash for other expenses or savings.
Shorten the Loan Term
If you initially obtained a 30-year mortgage but now have the means to pay off your loan sooner, refinancing to a shorter term, such as a 15-year mortgage, can help you become mortgage-free more quickly.
Access to Equity
If your home has appreciated in value or you have paid down a significant portion of your mortgage, refinancing can allow you to take out a cash-out refinance. This means that you can refinance for a higher loan amount than your remaining mortgage balance and receive the difference in cash.
How to Lower Your Refinance Costs
There are ways you can effectively lower your refinance rates and potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. By following these tips and techniques, you'll be able to navigate the refinancing process with ease and secure the best possible rates for your financial situation.
Improve Your Credit Score
Lenders typically offer lower refinance rates to borrowers with higher credit scores. Paying off outstanding debt, making payments on time, and keeping your credit utilization low can all help improve your credit score and potentially qualify you for a lower refinance rate.
Shop Around and Compare Offers
Different lenders may offer different refinance rates, so it's essential to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders. This allows you to find the best refinance rate and terms that suit your financial needs.
Make a Larger Down Payment
Putting down a larger down payment when refinancing can help reduce your loan-to-value ratio (LTV). A lower LTV generally leads to lower refinance rates and may even eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you have at least 20% equity in your home.
Pay Points Upfront
Paying points upfront is an option to lower your refinance rate. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount and paying points upfront means paying more upfront to reduce your interest rate over the life of the loan. This can be beneficial if you plan to stay in your home for a long time.
Consider an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
If you plan to sell your home or refinance again in a few years, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) may offer a lower initial interest rate compared to a fixed-rate mortgage. However, it's important to carefully consider the terms and potential future rate adjustments.
Best Mortgage Lenders for Refinancing
Now that you understand how much it costs to refinance, let’s take a look at some of the best places to refinance a mortgage loan.
1. Best Overall: Quicken Loans®
If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to refinance nearly any type of mortgage loan, Quicken Loans will usually be the right choice for you. The company has streamlined the refinance process — you can now complete your application on your phone or tablet and receive a decision in minutes.
Quicken Loans specializes in providing a wide range of refinancing options. From FHA streamlines to jumbo cash-out refinances, its team does it all. With an easy-to-understand process and plenty of information available online, Quicken Loans is our 1st choice when it comes to the best mortgage refinance mortgage companies.
2. Best for Self-Employed Borrowers: New American Funding
New American Funding offers conventional, proprietary and government-backed mortgages. Its variety of mortgage options make it worth checking out, especially if you have unique financial needs. It also offers options for refinancing and tapping into your home equity. Its products aren’t available to New York or Hawaii residents.
New American Funding is a good choice for self-employed borrowers. It allows you to use bank statements to verify your income instead of trying to qualify with tax returns, W-2s or pay stubs, which you might not have with a fluctuating or lump-sum income.
New American Funding is also an excellent lender for first-time home buyers. You can opt for an FHA, USDA or VA loan. New American Funding also has educational resources to help first-timers understand the mortgage process.
It may also be a good fit for senior homeowners looking for a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to take advantage of the equity you’ve built up in your home. It’s not for everyone but it’s worth considering if you’ve built up significant equity in your home but have concerns about your income in retirement.
3. Best for Simplicity: Credible
Credible provides comparisons of various loan products on the basis that you, the borrower, are always in control. Its user-friendly, online interface allows you to compare personalized loan offers from multiple trusted lenders.
Credible’s mortgage marketplace integrates lenders and credit bureaus, allowing you to compare actual prequalified mortgage rates — not estimates — and terms they qualify for across multiple lenders in just 3 minutes. This marketplace uses smart logic that allows you to answer questions about your specific situation to find rates and offers that are tailored to you.
***Prequalified rates are based on the information you provide and a soft credit inquiry. Receiving prequalified rates does not guarantee that the Lender will extend you an offer of credit. You are not yet approved for a loan or a specific rate. All credit decisions, including loan approval, if any, are determined by Lenders, in their sole discretion. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates from Lenders may differ from prequalified rates due to factors which may include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in your personal credit circumstances; (ii) additional information in your hard credit pull and/or additional information you provide (or are unable to provide) to the Lender during the underwriting process; and/or (iii) changes in APRs (e.g., an increase in the rate index between the time of prequalification and the time of application or loan closing. (Or, if the loan option is a variable rate loan, then the interest rate index used to set the APR is subject to increases or decreases at any time). Lenders reserve the right to change or withdraw the prequalified rates at any time
4. Best for In-Person Service: Wells Fargo
Getting approved for an online mortgage refinance can be a simple and convenient solution for many homeowners. However, if you’re less technologically-inclined or you’d like the comfort of knowing that you have a person standing by to help you if you run into trouble, you might want to consider refinancing with Wells Fargo.
With over 8,000 branches across the U.S., Wells Fargo is 1 of the largest banks offering refinances in the country. No matter where you live, chances are that you’re close to a Wells Fargo branch. With Wells Fargo, you have the option to complete your entire refinance online, head into a local bank or begin your application online and finish it in-person.
Refinance the Right Way
Are you getting ready to refinance? The best way to lower your costs is to know and understand all of your loan options. Research a few different lenders and negotiate closing costs with your pick. You might be surprised at just how much leeway your lender might be able to extend to you when it comes to cost.
Get started now with 1 of our recommended refinance lenders.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get pre-approved?
First, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your refinance rate today!
How much interest will I pay?
Interest that you’ll pay is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here.
How much should I save for a down payment?
Most lenders will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze.
1Based on Quicken Loans data in comparison to public data records.
Get Ready for Take Off
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You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.