With mortgage rates on the decline once again, many homeowners may be wondering if it's time to refinance their mortgage. According to experts at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, homeowners should consider these questions before beginning the process.
Have the rates fallen enough to make a difference?
Mortgage rates actually fluctuate on daily basis, but can remain close for stretches at a time. Keep in mind that refinancing your mortgage makes the most sense if you can lower your interest rate by at least two points. Some real estate experts say a 1 ½-point decrease is sufficient if you plan to remain in your home for at least three years.
Are you planning to move soon?
If you're planning to be in your home for the next few years, refinancing may be great for you. Keep in mind that you want to remain in your home long enough to experience the savings benefit and recoup the closing costs of a refi - remember that a refinance requires the same fees associated with a mortgage.
How good is your credit?
Before you begin shopping around, educate yourself on your financial health. If your score has improved significantly since obtaining your current mortgage, it may be a good time to refinance.
Getting your credit history and credit score in great shape will help you get a better refi rate. See where you stand by requesting a free credit report from the credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com orwww.gofreecredit.com, and be prepared to pay about $20 to obtain a one-time “snap shot” of your credit score from MyFICO.com.
Trying to stay financially fit? Check out more money-saving stories in our Financial Fitness Zone.