Refinance in South Carolina

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 17, 2022

Do you feel trapped in a mortgage loan that doesn’t work for you? A refinance in South Carolina can help get you a new loan that fits your changing lifestyle. Our guide to refinancing steps and the best refinance mortgage companies will help you get started on the path to a better home loan. 

Best Refinance Lenders in South Carolina

Where’s the best place to refinance a mortgage in South Carolina? The best mortgage company will depend on your individual refinance needs. Check out a few of our favorite lenders if you aren’t sure where to begin. 

Current South Carolina Refinance Rates

When you refinance a mortgage loan, your lender will offer you a new interest rate that’s in line with current market interest rates. If interest rates have gone down since you took out your original loan, this can mean huge savings. However, if interest rates are higher now, your refinance might actually end up costing you money instead of saving it.

The best way to ensure you don’t overpay for your refinance loan is to keep track of how refinance rates in South Carolina are changing and to apply when rates are lower than average. Below you can get a glimpse of what you might pay for your refinance  today. We update this regularly to give you the most up-to-date information possible. 

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed 7.788% 7.985%
15-year fixed N/A N/A
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
Rates based on a loan amount of $180,000 and property value of $225,000.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Refinance Process

Finding a better mortgage doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple steps to refinance your loan without the stress.  

Determine your goals

Before you decide where you want to refinance, you need to decide what you need from your refinance. Some of the most popular reasons why homeowners refinance include:

  • A lower monthly payment
  • Access to home equity in cash with a cash-out refinance
  • Change of loan type

Not every lender can accommodate every refinancing goal. Be sure to know what you need before you start comparing lenders. 

Choose your lender

There’s no rule that says that you must refinance with the same lender who serviced your original loan. If you aren’t satisfied with your current lender, consider refinancing with a new lender that can better meet your needs. Some of the questions you might want to ask each lender before you make your decision include:

  • What’s your availability? If you’ve never refinanced before, it can be comforting to know that your lender offers extended customer service hours.
  • Can I apply for my refinance online? Refinancing your loan no longer means making endless trips to the bank. Online mortgage lenders like Quicken Loans® and Better.com now allow you to apply for your refinance 100% online.
  • What are your rates and fees? Mortgage rates vary widely from lender to lender, so it’s important to get more than 1 quote before you apply.
  • What types of loans do you offer? Not every lender is licensed to offer every type of loan to every county in South Carolina. Ask your lender which types of loans it offers. If you aren’t sure which type of loan you need, we recommend exploring Quicken Loans® Rocket Mortgage® platform for more education and information.

Once you choose a lender, you can apply for your new loan. 

Apply for your refinance

When you apply for your refinance, your lender will ask you for much of the same information as when you got your original loan. Be prepared to submit documentation to prove your assets, income and credit history. In most cases, you’ll receive a decision shortly after completing your refinance application. 

Lock in your rate

Once you get your approval, your lender will usually give you the opportunity to lock in your interest rate. Mortgage interest rates may change on a daily basis. It’s usually a good idea to lock into your rate to prevent any unpleasant surprise rate increases during underwriting.

Most lenders will give you the option to lock in your rate for 15 to 60 days during the underwriting process. If your refinance doesn’t close within the rate lock period, you might need to pay an additional fee to extend your lock. 

Wait for underwriting to close 

After submitting your application, your lender will begin the underwriting process. During underwriting, your lender checks your credit report, verifies your income and assets and prepares your new loan paperwork. In most cases, underwriting closes entirely behind-the-scenes with no input from you as the homeowner. Your lender might request additional information or documentation from you. Respond to these inquiries quickly to keep your refinance on track.

Your lender will usually schedule a new appraisal as part of the underwriting process. As the homeowner refinancing your loan, you’re free to attend your appraisal this time around. You might want to create a list of upgrades you’ve made to your home since you moved in to ensure the highest appraisal estimate possible. 

Attend a closing meeting

Like when you took out your original mortgage loan, you’ll attend a closing meeting with your lender as the final step in your refinance. During closing, you’ll sign on your new loan and pay your closing costs to your lender. Now your refinance is complete and you only need to worry about managing your new loan.  

When Should You Refinance in South Carolina? 

There are many valid reasons to refinance. Some of the most popular reasons why homeowners in South Carolina refinance their mortgage loans include:

  • Lower interest rate. If interest rates are lower now than when you applied for your loan, you might want to refinance to take advantage of a lower mortgage rate.
  • Lower monthly payment. If you can’t afford your monthly loan payment, you might want to refinance for a longer term. Though refinancing to a longer term does cause you to pay more in interest over time, it lowers what you owe every month — which can help you avoid falling behind on your loan or becoming at-risk for foreclosure.
  • Pay off high-interest debt. With average interest rates around 4% each year, a mortgage loan can be an affordable way to borrow money. If you have credit card debt, student loan debt or another type of debt that accrues interest, you might want to take a cash-out refinance.

Cash-out refinances are refinances that allow you to access your home’s equity in exchange for taking on a higher value loan. For example, let’s say you have a home loan with a principal balance of $100,000 and $25,000 worth of credit card debt. If you wanted to pay off your cards with a cash-out refinance, you’d accept a mortgage loan with a value of $125,000. Your lender would then give you $25,000 to pay off your credit card debt a few days after closing. Your interest rate and term may or may not change when you take a cash-out refinance.

You might also want to consider refinancing your loan to get rid of FHA insurance or to change your loan type. 

When Should You Not Refinance?

Refinancing isn’t right in every circumstance. If any of the following apply to you, you might not want to refinance at this time.

  • You want to pay off your loan faster. Though it is possible to refinance to a shorter term, this isn’t always necessary to pay off your loan early. Most lenders allow you to make additional principal payments each month without paying a fee. Be sure that your loan doesn’t have a clause called a “prepayment penalty” first. Then contact your lender and schedule an extra loan payment. Be sure to specify that you want to apply the extra payment directly to your principal balance. Some lenders automatically apply extra payments to your next monthly payment balance.
  • You don’t have much equity in your property. Most lenders won’t allow you to access more than 80% to 90% of your built equity. If you haven’t made payments on your loan for more than a few years, you might not have enough equity to justify a refinance. Contact your lender or check your most recent mortgage statement if you don’t know how much equity you currently have in your property.
  • You can’t pay your closing costs. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that refinancing comes with closing costs. Though you might have the option to roll your closing costs in your principal balance, this option usually comes with a higher interest rate — which means paying more in the long term. You’re usually much better off waiting until you can pay your closing costs before you refinance. 

Bad Credit Refinance

Do you have bad credit? If you do, there are still a few options to refinance. 

  • Streamline refinance. If you have an FHA loan or a VA loan, you might want to refinance using a streamline refinance. Streamline refinances are abbreviated refinances that allow you to skip the appraisal and credit check requirements that are typical of standard refinances. This means that you won’t be denied due to a low credit score.

Streamline refinances aren’t available to everyone. To qualify, you must already have a VA or FHA loan, have a history of on-time payments and be refinancing your rate or term.

  • Add a non-occupying co-client to your loan. A non-occupying co-client is someone who agrees to take responsibility for your loan if you default but doesn’t live on your property. If you know someone with great credit, you can use it to your advantage if they agree to sign onto your refinance as a non-occupying co-client.

Be 100% positive you can make your new loan payments before you apply for a refinance with a co-client. If you default on your loan, your lender can pursue your balance from your co-client. 

Refinance Without The Stress

Refinancing doesn’t have to be a long or stressful process. The key to a successful refinance is knowing all of your options and comparing your lenders before you start applying for new loans. Just a few days of research can end up saving you thousands of dollars by the time you own your home. 

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.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.