Q: We have 30-year FRM at 6.25% from 2004. The remaining balance is $123,000, while the value of our home is $220,000. We have excellent credit. Should we refinance?
A: Yes! You are a good candidate for refinancing. However, you should probably look at loan terms shorter than a 30-year term, which will see you re-start the "amortization clock" all over again. To lock in savings, consider a 20-year or even 15-year mortgage term instead; your monthly payment will only decline slightly (or perhaps not at all) but you will carve anywhere from four to nine years off your mortgage, saving a bundle of interest in the long haul. Of course, if improving your cash-flow is more important, a new 30-year term would work for you.
- What is a rate and term refinance?
Homeowners have a variety of reasons for refinancing and each reason can indicate that one refinance option or another makes the most sense.
- Are ten-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) available anywhere?
Sure! Virtually all lenders who sell product to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be able to offer you mortgage with a 10-year term. However, interest rates are usually the same as the lender's 15-year offerings.
- Can I get copies of checks from a past refinance?
It's not going to be easy, that's for sure.
- Can I refinance an underwater ‘kiddie condo’?
If the home is underwater, HARP is really your only option.
- Will shopping around for a refinance affect my credit?
Credit bureaus usually treat multiple applications to different lenders as a single entry in your credit file.