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Published: Dec 02, 2022 24 min read
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Committed to Helping Borrowers from Minority Communities
Offers In-Person, Remote or Hybrid eClosingsClose in an Average of 25 daysBest Refinance Lender OverallWide Selection of Plans and a Simple Application Process
New American FundingQuicken LoansAmeriSaveRocketMagnolia Bank
Our PartnerOur PartnerOur PartnerOur PartnerOur Partner
Company Highlights

Request a quote online through a short and simple application

Consumers can close their loans electronically

Online portal can provide quotes in under a minute

Highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for 8 consecutive years

Borrowers can choose a strategy that suits their individual needs and financial situation

Minimum Credit Score

620 (500 for FHA Loan)

620 (580 for FHA loan)

620 (580 for FHA Loan)

620 (580 for FHA loan)

620

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, and USDA

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, HARP, and Jumbo

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 10 to 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, and USDA

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, USDA Loans and Jumbo

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15 to 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, and Jumbo

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

Above Average

Below Average

Above Average

Not Rated

NMLS Regulatory Actions

3

8

14

8

0

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except NY and HI

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except NY

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Committed to Helping Borrowers from Minority Communities
New American Funding
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Request a quote online through a short and simple application

Minimum Credit Score

620 (500 for FHA Loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, and USDA

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

3

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except NY and HI

Offers In-Person, Remote or Hybrid eClosings
Quicken Loans
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Consumers can close their loans electronically

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, HARP, and Jumbo

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

8

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Close in an Average of 25 days
AmeriSave
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Online portal can provide quotes in under a minute

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA Loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 10 to 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, and USDA

J.D. Power Rating

Below Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

14

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except NY

Best Refinance Lender Overall
Rocket
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for 8 consecutive years

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, USDA Loans and Jumbo

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

8

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Wide Selection of Plans and a Simple Application Process
Magnolia Bank
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Borrowers can choose a strategy that suits their individual needs and financial situation

Minimum Credit Score

620

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15 to 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, Conventional, and Jumbo

J.D. Power Rating

Not Rated

NMLS Regulatory Actions

0

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Refinancing your mortgage is one way to improve your financial position, but for the move to make sense you need to first find the right lender. The best refinance companies will offer competitive interest rates, a smooth application process and a variety of loan options to choose from.

First, use Money’s mortgage refinance calculator to easily estimate how much you can save by reducing the interest rate on your home loan. Then, to find the right loan for you, compare offers from multiple lenders. We think these eight mortgage lenders are the best place to start.

Our Top Picks for the Best Mortgage Refinance Companies of December 2022

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Best Mortgage Refinance Reviews

Why we chose it: We chose Rocket Mortgage (formerly Quicken Loans) as the best overall mortgage refinance company for its excellent track record in customer satisfaction and web-based customer support. In 2021, Rocket originated more mortgages than any other company in the United States.

Pros
  • Rated best mortgage servicer by JD Power
  • Largest mortgage originator in 2021
  • Streamlined online application process with eClosing
  • Features a mortgage refinance rates calculator
Cons
  • No in-person service, but you may reach out to an affiliated broker
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
876/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
8
Min. Credit Score
620 (580 for FHA)
Refi Loan Types
15- and 30-year Conventional, ARM, FHA, VA, Jumbo

Rocket Mortgage (NMLS ID# 3030) has ranked in the top 3 in the J.D. Power U.S Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study for eight consecutive years. Although the company is deeply rooted in online technology, it also has over 3,000 home loan experts available seven days a week to help you complete your application over the phone. You can get in-person assistance from an independent mortgage broker affiliated with Rocket.

Rocket Mortgage is one of the lenders that offer Fannie Mae’s RefiNow and Freddie Mac’s Refi Possible refinance options for those with a debt-to-income ratio of up to 65% who currently have a mortgage with either one of the government-sponsored enterprises. Homeowners who qualify for these programs will see a reduction of at least 0.5% of their interest rate and can also take advantage of up to $500 to cover appraisal costs. To qualify, the homeowner must have a good payment history, a FICO credit score of 620 or higher, and at least 3% equity in a one-unit primary residence.

Why we chose it: We chose loanDepot as the best online mortgage refinance company due to its wide availability across the U.S.

Pros
  • Licensed in all 50 states with over 200 locations in 43 states
  • Streamlined digital platform
Cons
  • Loan rates are not available online
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
856/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
3
Min. Credit Score
620 (580 for FHA)
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, fixed-rate, ARM, VA, FHA, HARP

loanDepot (NMLS# 174457) stands out for its “mello smartloan,” a digital portal that uses artificial intelligence to verify asset and employment details, perform credit checks and begin the home appraisal process. The online application can be completed in a matter of minutes.

Choosing loanDepot for a mortgage refinance comes with some perks, the company offers to waive lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees on future refinances after you’ve refinanced with them at least once.

Why we chose it: We chose Zillow as the best mortgage refinancing marketplace for its ability to connect you with a wide variety of licensed lenders located across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, plus its array of tools that help the homeowner determine the best refinancing option.

Pros
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Wide range of online resources, including a mortgage calculator
  • Easy access to competitive rates, updated daily
  • Most of the application process is performed online
Cons
  • Not licensed to operate in all 50 states
  • No program to help homebuyers with bad credit
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. POWER RATING
Not Rated
NMLS REGULATORY ACTIONS
3
MIN. CREDIT SCORE
680 (Conventional), 580 (FHA), 620 (VA), 640 (USDA)
REFI LOAN TYPES
Fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo, VA, FHA, Conventional, USDA (in select states)

Zillow (NMLS ID#: 10287) is better known as a real estate listing site but also offers access to thousands of lenders across the country, from mortgage bankers and brokers to credit unions and community banks. (It’s also possible you’ll be referred to Zillow Home Loans, the company’s mortgage arm.)

Zillow’s Lender Directory allows you to search for a mortgage provider by city, state/territory or zip code. You can also search for a specific bank or loan officer if you have a recommendation from a friend or family member. You’ll be able to read customer reviews before deciding on which lenders you want to apply with. You can also submit your information directly on Zillow’s website and be paired with both local and national lenders, who will contact you directly.

Another neat Zillow feature is its mortgage refinance rate comparison tool, which is updated daily. Here, you can compare average interest rates for different types of loans (including conforming, government-backed and jumbo loans) as well as different term lengths. This will give you an idea of what mortgage interest rate you can expect when you apply for a refinance and allow you to compare the market average with the rate you’re offered.

As with any marketplace, once you contact a lender, you’ll be dealing with that company directly and Zillow will no longer be involved in the process.

Why we chose it: We chose Better as the best mortgage refinance company for fast closing times because consumers can obtain a rate quote and a letter of preapproval in just a few minutes. Better Mortgage also offers a price-match guaranteed rate.

Pros
  • Fast online process, with competitor price-match program
  • No origination, application or underwriting fees
  • Smart tech automatically looks for and applies eligible discounts
Cons
  • Online-only, no brick and mortar branches
  • Not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada or New Hampshire
  • Limited refinance loan type options
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
859/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
6
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, Fixed-rate, ARM, FHA, Jumbo

Better Mortgage (NMLS ID# 330511) is an online lender with an easy mortgage refinance process that’s fast and straightforward. This lender offers some of the lowest closing costs in the industry.

Better says it can afford to forego some of the fees charged by traditional brick-and-mortar lenders — such as application, underwriting and origination fees — because they operate fully online. Additionally, it offers a price guarantee if another lender has a more competitive price on their refinance products.

Better customers can upload and sign all their documents through the lender’s secure website. They also have direct access to a dedicated loan officer.

Why we chose it: We chose Navy Federal as the best mortgage refinance credit union because of its fast online pre-approval process, choice of loan terms and benefits for borrowers who are also selling.

Pros
  • Online pre-approval application
  • Doesn't require private mortgage insurance (PMI)
Cons
  • Membership is limited to veterans, active-duty military, and their families
  • No FHA, USDA loans, construction loans, or reverse mortgages
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
861/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate Conventional, Cash-out, VA, VA Streamline, ARM, Jumbo

Navy Federal (NLMS# 399807) has mortgage refinancing options ranging from 10- to 30-year loan terms for their VA Streamline (IRRL) and Homebuyers Choice. The lender also offers the Military Choice loan for those who have exhausted their VA loan option. In addition to VA loans, Navy Federal can refinance FHA and conventional loans.

Realty Plus and Navy Federal Title Services are tools that facilitate the mortgage refinance process for homebuyers looking to refinance or sell and buy new property. Realty Plus connects you with an agent coordinator to assist with your mortgage application. Further, if you close your mortgage with Navy Federal using Realty Plus, you can get between $400 and $8,000 cashback.

Navy Federal also offers HomeSquad, an option for potential borrowers to get a faster preapproval for either a purchase or refinance loan. Once the application is submitted, HomeSquad allows borrowers to track their loan status 24/7 online or through their mobile device, upload documents easily, set up autopay, access payment history and other account activities, as well as request forbearance assistance.

Why we chose it: We chose Ally Financial as the best mortgage refinance company for jumbo loans due to its higher-than-average lending cap and lack of lender fees.

Pros
  • Online application, document uploads, and electronic signature options
  • No lender fees
  • Quotes don't impact your credit score
  • No PMI with a down payment of 20%
Cons
  • Mortgage applications can only be completed with an in-person visit
  • You may be required to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20%
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
Not Rated
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
700 for Jumbo
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo, Cash-out

Ally Financial (NLMS# 181005) stands out for its jumbo loan offerings of up to $4 million. For this type of loan, Ally offers a higher lending amount than other lenders, which usually cap at $2 million. Borrowers must pay a down payment of at least 20% for jumbo loans and provide evidence that they can cover expenses for a certain amount of months. However, unlike other lenders, Ally accepts restricted stock units to count as reserve capital.

Potential borrowers can apply, submit documents and sign paperwork online, but can only complete and close on the loan application by visiting an Ally branch. On their website, borrowers can find rates and a refinance mortgage calculator, along with other information regarding refinancing and jumbo loans.

Why we chose it: We chose Nationwide as the best mortgage refinance company for borrowers with poor credit due to its strong programs for self-employed and low credit buyers, including its Lease Option Program.

Pros
  • Options for self-employed and low credit buyers
  • Customizable terms
  • Will match competitor's loan estimate offers
  • Free consultations
Cons
  • Only operates in CA, CO, TX, ID, WA, OK, MT and ND
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. POWER RATING
Not Rated
NMLS REGULATORY ACTIONS
None
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, VA, FHA, Jumbo

Nationwide offers mortgage refinance loans in partnership with AXOS Bank (NMLS # 524995). It features a Lease Option Program, which requires that you have at least a 10% down payment and enough income for closing costs and rent payment. Nationwide buys the home, and you sign a lease agreement with an option to buy within three years.

During those three years, you can live in your new home (paying the lease) while Nationwide helps you improve your credit score, sort out income reporting requirements or perform whatever other steps are necessary to help you get ready to purchase the home.

Nationwide also offers a Best Rate Guarantee, where they match a loan estimate from another lender.

Why we chose it: We chose Bank of America as the best mortgage refinance company for member discounts. Its Preferred Rewards program offers significant price reductions on purchase and refinance closing costs.

Pros
  • Exclusive membership discounts available on both purchase and refinance closing costs
  • Physical branch locations available nationwide
  • Considers alternative credit data such as utility bills and rental payment history
Cons
  • No renovation loans
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
859/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
6
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate, ARM, FHA, VA, Cash-out, Home Equity

Bank of America (NMLS# 399802) members can benefit from its Preferred Rewards program by qualifying for a closing cost reduction of up to $600 from their purchase or refinance origination fees.

The program works in tiers ranging from Gold to Platinum Honors, with discount levels based on a member’s balances in Bank of America banking and Merrill investment accounts.

Another perk of doing business with Bank of America is its digital services, including an online tool to track the progress of your mortgage loan and refinance application in real-time.

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Other mortgage refinance companies we considered

When we looked at the refinance mortgage lending industry, we found that many of the biggest lenders didn’t necessarily offer the best refinance products, though they might excel in other areas.

Chase Review

(NMLS# 399798)

Pros
  • The sixth-largest originator of mortgage loans in the country (In 2020)
  • Large variety of loans: ARMs, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year mortgages, FHA and VA loans and DreamMaker Mortgage Program
  • Competitive mortgage interest rates
  • Online Refinance Learning Center with calculators for loan estimates, interest rates and terms
Cons
  • Several regulatory actions with the CFPB within the last five years (although none filed within the last four years)
  • High number of customer complaints with the CFPB
  • About Average rating in JD Power customer satisfaction survey
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
843/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
9
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
DreamMaker®, Fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM

PNC Bank Review

(NMLS# 446303)

Pros
  • Has current mortgage rates and helpful calculators on its site
  • Home insight planner and application tracker
  • Considers non-traditional credit history
  • Online mortgage preapproval
Cons
  • The process can't be fully completed online
  • No branches in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, HI, ID, IA, LA, ME, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA or WY
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
851/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA

SunTrust Review (now Truist)

(NMLS# 399803)

Pros
  • Online mortgage application and tracking software
  • Comprehensive educational resources
Cons
  • Customized rates are only available with an application
  • Branches only in AL, AZ, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, TN and VA
  • Rates and fees not available online
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
825/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
0
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Cash-out, VA IRRRL

Alliant Credit Union Review

(NMLS# 197185)

Pros
  • Rate watch sends a notification when rates have hit your target
  • Complete the application process online
Cons
  • No government-backed loans
  • Doesn't disclose loan fees
  • No in-person banking
  • Must be a member to qualify
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
Not Rated
NMLS Regulatory Actions
1
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Fixed, ARM, Jumbo

Guild Mortgage Review

(NMLS# 3274)

Pros
  • Online mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking
  • Direct lender, services its own loans
  • Closing cost and total payment calculator
  • Highest rated by JD Power's US Primary Mortgage Originator Satisfaction Study
Cons
  • Not available in NY or NJ
  • Rates aren't available online unless you apply
  • Does not disclose fees
  • Branches only in 33 states
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
884/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
3
Min. Credit Score
640
Refi Loan Types
Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Reverse

U.S. Bank Review

(NMLS# 402761)

Pros
  • Variety of refinance loan offerings
  • Rewards homeowners with an existing first mortgage with U.S. Bank
  • Great online tools, with a fully digital application and a proprietary app
  • Provides general mortgage rates, with the option to see results by state
  • Online prequalification
Cons
  • Customer satisfaction rating was below
  • Mortgage rates on the website assume a higher-than-average credit score
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
823/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Cash-out, IRRL

AmeriSave Mortgage Review

(NMLS# 1168)

Pros
  • Wide variety of loan options
  • Closing time average of 25 days
Cons
  • High number of regulatory actions with the NMLS
  • Doesn't disclose origination fees or closing costs
  • Not available in New York
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
803/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
14
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Rate and Term, Cash-out, FHA, USDA, VA

Veterans United Home Loans Review

(NMLS# 1907)

Pros
  • Free credit counseling
  • Representatives available 24/7
Cons
  • Only has physical branches in 18 states
  • Won't refinance FHA or USDA loans
  • Doesn't disclose closing costs or fees
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
905/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
3
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Fixed, ARM, Jumbo, VA IRRRL, Cash-out
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Mortgage Refinance Guide

When you refinance, you replace your current loan with a new mortgage. Our mortgage refinance guide can be particularly useful for those refinancing their home loan for the first time and provides information about different types of mortgage products, the benefits of refinancing a mortgage and what documents financial institutions require for a complete application.

Whatever your needs, read on to learn more about the process and make an informed decision.

Types of mortgage refinance

By understanding the different loan types, you can zero in on the best mortgage refinance lenders and products for your needs.

Rate-and-term refinance

A rate-and-term refinance allows you to take out a new loan with the same loan balance as your existing mortgage. Ideally, you’ll get a low interest rate, a shorter term length or both. Rate-and-term is the most common type of refi.

What to know:

  • Also know as xa “no-cash out refinance.”

What to watch out for:

  • You will have to pay closing costs and go through the appraisal process again.

Zero-closing-cost refinance

Some lenders offer “no-closing-cost” or “zero-closing-cost” refinance loans for those who qualify. These let you roll closing costs into your mortgage loan.

What to know:

  • You’ll still pay closing costs and interest on those fees, but it won’t be upfront.

What to watch out for:

  • Closing costs are folded into the principal loan amount, so your monthly payment is higher than with a rate-and-term refinance.

Cash-out refinancing

A cash-out refinance converts a portion of the home equity you’ve accumulated into cash, similarly to a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). A cash-out refi replaces your existing mortgage with a new loan with a higher balance than your current loan.

What to know:

  • You get the difference as a tax-free cash advance paid to you at closing.
  • Many borrowers use these loans to fund home improvements.

What to watch out for:

  • The borrower may end up with a higher interest rate and monthly payment.
  • You should only borrow an amount that’s feasible to pay off.

Cash-in refinance

A cash-in refinance allows borrowers to lower their mortgage principal during a refinance negotiation. With this type of loan, the borrower makes a lump sum payment on their mortgage, lowering the principal balance on their new loan.

What to know:

  • This option may improve the chances of an underwater mortgage qualifying for a refinance.
  • Most lenders require a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of at least 80%.
  • You may also be able to eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you increase your home equity to more than 20% by paying down the principal.

What to watch out for:

  • Your funds will be tied to your home, so you won’t be able to use them to pay off other debt, cover emergency expenses or invest.

Streamline refinance

Streamline refinance allows a borrower to refinance an existing government-backed loan, such as an FHA loan, USDA loan or VA loan, with limited documentation or underwriting.

What to know:

  • These loans generally don’t require appraisals and may or may not require employment and income verification.
  • You do need to show a history of on-time mortgage payments.

What to watch out for:

  • The VA, USDA and FHA set specific qualification requirements for both loans and homes.

Low-income enterprise-backed mortgage refinance

In summer 2021, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented new refinance options for low-income borrowers. Eligible borrowers can now refinance their mortgage at a reduced interest rate and lower monthly payments.

What to know:

To qualify, borrowers must:

  • Have a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) for the house they live in
  • Have an income at or below 80% of the area’s median income
  • Have no missed payments in the past six months and no more than one missed payment in the previous 12 months
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio below 65% or a FICO credit score of at least 620
  • Have a mortgage loan to value (LTV) ratio lower than 97%

What to watch out for:

  • This option is not available for cash-out refinance loans
  • You need to live in the home for at least one year before doing this kind of refi
  • Only applies to single family homes

How does refinancing work?

Refinancing a mortgage works by replacing your existing home loan with a new one. You will be changing your current interest rate, monthly payments and loan term for new ones.

Say you obtained a $300,000 mortgage at 6% interest, with a monthly payment of $1799. After 14 years, you have a remaining balance of $223,000 and decide to refinance into a new 30-year mortgage at 5% interest. Your new monthly payment will be $1,197 and you will have a new payback time of 30 years.

While many homeowners are attracted to refinancing because of the possibility of finding lower refinance rates, there are other reasons for taking out a new home loan, including using home equity to pay off higher interest debt and changing the term of the loan.

For example, after seven years you have an outstanding balance of $247,000 on your original mortgage at 6% interest. Your monthly payment is about $1,499. You want to refinance into a 15-year fixed-rate loan at 5%. Your new monthly payment will be $1,949, but you will save on interest and you’ll pay off your home in total of 22 years, not 30.

Should you refinance your mortgage?

If you’re on the fence about mortgage refinance, we’ve provided information about the pros and cons of refinancing, what can that money be used for, and the documentation financial institutions require for a complete application.

Under the right circumstance, refinancing can help:

  • Secure a lower interest rate on your mortgage
  • Lower your monthly payment
  • Shorten your loan term
  • Pay off higher-interest debt such as credit cards

Should I refinance with my current lender?

Before selecting a refinance mortgage lender:

  • Shop around and request loan estimates from multiple lenders

You might find different lenders offer better deals in terms of mortgage rates, loan products, or closing costs. Use our mortgage refinance calculator to get an idea of how much you could be saving.

What do you need to refinance your mortgage?

There are three primary factors lenders consider when reviewing mortgage refinance applications: credit score, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

  • A low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: You need a DTI of up to 43% for conventional loans or less than 50% for an FHA mortgage refinance, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Use our DTI ratio calculator to find where you stand.
  • A healthy FICO credit score: Most mortgage refinance lenders have a minimum credit score requirement of 620, but you’ll get the best rates for a score upwards of 740.
  • A Loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 20% or more: The LTV is the amount of the loan you want to take out divided by the appraised value of your home.

You will also have to submit additional paperwork related to your income and the property you are refinancing.

Documentation required to apply for a mortgage refinance:

☑ A copy of your government-issued ID or Social Security card

☑ Proof of income for the last 30 days

☑ W-2s for the past 2 years

☑ Federal tax returns (personal and business) for at least the last 2-3 years

☑ Written explanation if employed less than two years or if there’s a gap or change in employment

☑ Address of property to be refinanced and purchase contract

☑ Homeowners' insurance information such as the agent’s name and contact information

☑ Bank statements and statements of assets

☑ Bankruptcy/ discharge papers if applicable

When is refinancing your mortgage not the best idea?

Just because you can refinance doesn’t mean you should.

For starters, if your interest rate will not drop at least 0.5 to 0.75 percentage points, most experts will argue that it’s not worth it.

Refinancing also means closing costs and other potential fees. Even if you are paying less each month, it does not make sense to refinance if you will not recoup closing costs before you expect to move.

The following are a handful of reasons to reconsider a mortgage refinance:

  • If your refi terms won’t save you much in interest
  • Your credit score has taken a dive since your original mortgage
  • High closing costs
  • Your new minimum monthly payment will be out of your budget
  • You have plans to move out in the near future
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Refinancing your home at a competitive interest rate means you can pay it off quicker and even save some money. Sound good? We thought so.
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Latest News on Mortgage Refinance

Higher interest rates are making it hard for homeowners to refinance their mortgages — their current rate is likely already lower than any rate they could find in today’s mortgage market.

With current mortgage rates near 7% for even the best qualified borrowers (and well above 7% for borrowers who have a credit score of 700 or lower), a rate and term refinance may not make much sense.

Some homeowners may still decide to refinance, however. Tapping into the equity built up in a home with a cash-out refi can be one way of weathering a financial downturn or taking care of unexpected expenses. For those who are planning on a refi, shopping around with different lenders can help find a better rate.

Potential homebuyers are also dealing with the effect of higher rates. Mortgage payments have increased significantly since the start of the year and borrowers are turning to different tricks to lower their mortgage rate.

If you need to refinance your current home loan but aren’t sure how to proceed, there are steps you can take to help you get started.

  1. Define your refinancing goal (e.g. lower your rate, shorten your term, etc.)
  2. Check your home equity
  3. Check your credit score and credit report
  4. Calculate whether refinance costs will be worth it
  5. Get your W2, 1099 forms and other documents ready
  6. Shop for a lender
  7. Lock in your rate

Best Mortgage Refinance FAQ

What is refinancing?

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When you refinance a mortgage you replace your current loan with a new one with a different term length, interest rate or amount borrowed. Ideally, refinancing can help you save money on your mortgage by negotiating a lower interest rate or reducing the number of years you need to pay.

How often can you refinance your home?

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There is no limit to the number of times you can refinance your mortgage. However, the closing costs associated with refinancing can be expensive. Just because you can always refinance your home doesn't mean you should do so. Make sure to calculate your breakeven point.

How much does it cost to refinance a mortgage?

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Closing cost to refinance a mortgage can cost around 2% to 6% of your loan amount. This includes fees for the loan application, loan origination, home appraisal, and mor. With a no closing cost refinance loan these fees get rolled into the loan balance or interest rate.

When to refinance a mortgage?

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The best time to refinance a mortgage is when interest rates are lower than when you locked in your rate and closed on your current mortgage. Refinancing when rates are lower will allow you to reduce your monthly payments. You may also refinance to a shorter term and pay more each month but save on interest over the life of the loan.

What are today's mortgage refinance rates?

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As of the week ending June 2022, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.09%, according to Freddie Mac. Mortgage rates change constantly. The rate you'll get will depend on your credit history, among many other factors, including whether your are purchasing a home or refinancing. Stay up to date with current mortgage rates and how they affect your house-hunting goals.

How soon can you refinance a mortgage?

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How soon you can refinance your mortgage will depend, in part, on the requirements outlined by your lender — like having a good credit score and enough money in the bank to cover the costs of refinancing.

The type of loan you have will also affect your refi timeline. In the case of conventional loans, you may be able to refinance immediately. Some lendersmay require a ‘seasoning' period, where you have to make a minimum number of monthly payments before being eligible to refinance, though you may be able to circumvent that by choosing a different lender.

For FHA loans, you'll need to have made at least six monthly payments before you can do a rate and term refinance. VA loans also require at least six months of payments, while USDA loans require 12 months of payments.

For a cash-out refinance, you'll need to have a record of between six and 12 months of payments before you can refinance, depending on the type of loan and lender. If you're thinking of refinancing your loan, check with your lender to see what requirements they may have.

What is the average closing cost to refinance a mortgage?

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The average cost of refinancing a mortgage ranges between 2% and 6% of the total loan amount. Closing costs may include application and origination fees, appraisal costs, title fees, insurance and discount points, among others fees.

If you cannnot pay closing costs upfront, you may still be able to refinance at a higher interest rate. Some lenders will also allow you to roll the closing costs into the mortgage, which can lead to higher monthly payments.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

Our methodology considered:

  • Lenders that provided a quality customer experience with online tools, pre-approvals, discounts, or exclusive refinance programs
  • Consumer feedback and expert input

Summary of Money’s Best Mortgage Refinance Companies of December 2022