Contributor, Benzinga
July 1, 2020

Ready to refinance your mortgage but don’t know where to begin? Our guide to refinancing with the best lenders in Georgia will make it easy for you to find your new loan. 

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Best Refinance Lenders in Georgia

Where’s the best place to refinance? The answer depends on the type of refinance you need and your goals for refinancing. Consider our favorite lenders in Georgia below.   

Current Georgia Refinance Rates

When you refinance your loan, your lender gives you a new interest rate  in line with current market rates in your area. Locking in when rates are low can help ensure you don’t end up overpaying for your loan. 

Below you can view a sample of current market rates in Georgia. We update this data regularly to ensure that you have access to the most recent information available. 

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed 7.825% 8.223%
15-year fixed 6.523% 6.874%
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) 6.625% 7.576%
Rates based on a loan amount of $200,000 and property value of $225,000.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Refinance Process

No matter if you decide to work with a local bank or an online mortgage lender, the refinance process is basically the same. Know what to expect before you apply to make your refinance easier and less stressful.

Before you apply to refinance, take a look at your most recent mortgage statement and determine why you’d like to refinance your loan. Some of the reasons to refinance may be to:

  • Change your monthly payment by adjusting your loan term
  • Lower your interest rate
  • Change your loan type
  • Take cash out of your home equity with a “cash-out refinance”

After you decide on your goal, choose a lender to work with. From the Quicken Loans® informative and easy Rocket Mortgage® platform to affordable, convenient refinances from, there are dozens of lenders offering unique refinancing solutions in Georgia. 

It’s a good idea to research your options before you decide where to refinance. Some questions you might want to ask potential lenders include:

  • What are your current interest rates and fees?
  • What type of refinance loans do you offer?
  • Can I complete my application online or will I need to visit a branch?
  • What are your credit requirements to refinance?

When you find the right lender for your needs, apply for a refinance loan in accordance with your goals. Like your original mortgage loan, your lender will ask for documents to prove your income and assets. Your lender will usually ask for at least the following:

  • Your 2 most recent bank statements
  • Your 2 most recent pay stubs
  • Your 2 most recent W-2 forms

If you’re self-employed, your lender might ask for additional documentation, like your full tax return.

Most lenders will give you a refinance decision shortly after applying. From here, your lender will begin underwriting your loan. During underwriting, your lender goes through your financial information with a fine-toothed comb to verify your assets and ensure you qualify for the loan requested. Though this might sound intimidating, the vast majority of underwriting processes close without incident.

Your lender will also schedule a new appraisal as part of the refinance process. As the property owner, you’re free to attend your appraisal and guide your appraiser. If you’ve made permanent upgrades to your home since moving in, noting them during your appraisal can ensure a higher value estimation.

After your lender finishes underwriting your loan and your appraisal closes, they’ll send you a document called a Closing Disclosure with the final terms of your loan. Some of the information you’ll find on your Closing Disclosure includes:

  • Your new interest rate
  • Your new term
  • The type of loan you’re taking out
  • The total amount of money you owe in closing costs

Acknowledge your Closing Disclosure with your lender and attend a closing meeting. At your closing meeting, you’ll sign off on your new loan. If your lender owes you money (like during a cash-out refinance), you’ll typically receive it 3 to 5 days after your closing meeting. 

When Should You Refinance in Georgia?

Refinancing your mortgage loan can help you more effectively manage your home payments and avoid foreclosure or selling your property. Some common reason to refinance are:

  • Lowering your monthly payment. A lost job, a new baby, unexpected medical expenses — there are endless reasons why you might not be able to afford your mortgage payment. Refinancing to a longer term gives you more months to pay off what you owe, which can drastically lower what’s due each month.
  • Locking into a lower interest rate. If local market interest rates in your area are low, a refinance can allow you to lock into a new, lower rate.
  • Taking cash out of your home’s equity. The average mortgage loan has an interest rate that hovers around 4%, while the average credit card has an interest rate between 15% and 27% annually. If you have high interest debt or you’re considering a major expense on a credit card, you can save money in interest by consolidating the debt into your home loan with a cash-out refinance. 

When Should You Not Refinance?

A refinance isn’t a catch-all solution for every circumstance. If any of the following apply to you, you might want to reconsider whether a refinance is the right choice at this time.

  • You want to pay your loan off sooner. You can lengthen or shorten your mortgage term with a refinance. However, if your goal is to pay your loan off more quickly, you might want to consider scheduling extra monthly payments instead of refinancing. Most mortgage loans no longer include early repayment penalties that charge you for making extra payments on your loan. This means that you’re free to make additional payments when you want without incurring the cost of a refinance.

If you do decide to make extra payments on your loan, be sure to contact your lender and communicate that you want the extra money applied to the principal balance of your loan. Some lenders will automatically put excess payments toward your next month’s balance.

  • You’re thinking about taking a “no closing cost” refinance. Refinancing comes with closing costs, which may equal thousands of dollars. If you can’t afford to pay your closing costs upfront, your lender might offer you a “no closing cost” refinance.

Contrary to the name, this type of refinance isn’t free — instead of paying closing costs when you sign onto your loan, your lender adds them to the principal balance of what you owe and increases your interest rate. This almost always ends up being significantly more expensive than simply paying your closing costs when you get your loan. If you can’t afford your closing costs right now, be very hesitant before you agree to a no closing cost refinance.

  • You’re planning on selling your home soon. The longer you have your mortgage, the more beneficial your refinance will be. If you plan on selling your home in the next few years, you might end up paying more in closing costs than you saved with your refinance.

Bad Credit Refinance

Lenders consider your credit score when underwriting your refinance loan. If you have a lower credit score, you’re a riskier candidate for a mortgage. This can make it more difficult to find a lender to refinance your loan.

Refinancing with bad credit is harder but not impossible. If you have an FHA loan, you might want to apply for an FHA streamline refinance. A streamline refinance allows you to adjust your interest rate or term without a new credit check or appraisal. To qualify, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Already have an FHA loan
  • Refinancing in a way where your monthly payment can’t increase by more than $50
  • Have made your last 12 mortgage payments on time

If you have a VA loan, consider refinancing with a VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (VA IRRRL). Like an FHA streamline refinance, a VA IRRRL can allow you to refinance without an appraisal or credit check. To qualify, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Already have a VA loan
  • Wait at least 270 days from the date you got your original loan to refinance
  • Have made your last 6 mortgage payments on time

If you don’t have an FHA or VA loan, you can still refinance by signing onto your new loan with a non-occupying co-client. A non-occupying co-client is someone who doesn’t live with you but agrees to take financial responsibility for your loan if you default. If you know someone willing to sign onto your refinance as a co-client, you can take advantage of their great credit to improve your chances of getting an approval.

Take note that you can only refinance your rate or term when you have bad credit. Even the best mortgage company won’t allow you to take a cash-out refinance with a credit score below 620 points. If you need to cash out your home equity, take a few months to improve your credit score before you apply for a refinance. 

Is Now the Time to Refinance?

When is the best time to refinance a mortgage loan? The answer will depend on your current loan, your needs, credit score and how you’d like to refinance. Before you jump into a new loan, leave yourself time to research your loan options, refamiliarize yourself with your current loan and explore some of the best refinance mortgage companies in your area. Just a few days’ worth of research can mean thousands of dollars saved by the time you pay off your loan.  

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

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.