Get Refinance Answers

Below are answers to the common questions about refinancing your mortgage. Don’t see what you’re looking for? The best mortgage advice is only a phone call away. Contact us any time.

What is a mortgage check-up?

A mortgage check-up reveals the overall financial health of your current mortgage and other household debts. Your mortgage is probably your largest debt and your home equity is possibly your largest investment. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate your mortgage annually. Call us for a no obligation mortgage check-up and see if you can save.

What is your household APR?

United Home Loans defines your Household APR as the average interest rate across all of your household debts. This simple calculation matters because it provides a quick answer to whether or not refinancing some or all of your outstanding loans will save you money. Call us for a Household APR calculation.

Can I pull equity out of my home?

There are multiple loan programs that allow qualified homeowners to take cash out of their primary residence. Typically, lenders will require that the borrower have an above average credit score, full-time employment, and an acceptable equity position in their home. Call us and see how much equity you have and to lock in a low rate today.

What costs are involved in refinancing?

You may pay an application fee, origination fee, and closing costs for items such as title services. You may also choose to pay discount points if you want to buy down the interest rate on your mortgage.

Should I refinance my existing loan?

People refinance their existing loans for a number of reasons including obtaining a lower interest rate, to save on monthly payments, or to change the term of the loan. People also choose to refinance if they want to switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate or to consolidate debt by refinancing for a higher loan amount and using the difference to pay off other debt. Call us to see if refinancing makes sense for you.

United Home Loans is both a mortgage bank and a mortgage lender. How does this benefit me?

As both a mortgage banker and lender, United Home Loans has the ability to shop dozens of banks and lending institutions to ensure that you receive the best possible interest rate and loan program. We search for the lowest rates, so you don't have to. Plus, with in-house processing and underwriting, decisions regarding your loan are handled locally from start to finish. Call us with any mortgage question.

What will my mortgage payments include?

For most borrowers, each monthly mortgage payment includes:

- Principal & Interest: A fixed payment amount spread out across the life of the loan
- Taxes: Fees levied on the property by local government
- Insurance: Protection for the owner and the lender from losses caused by natural hazards

Call us for an estimate of what your new mortgage payment could be with a refinance.

Should I lock my rate?

Locking your interest rate means your mortgage rate is guaranteed even if market rates change before closing. When refinancing your mortgage, your lender will typically recommend a rate lock period of 30 to 45 days.

How do you know whether or not to lock your interest rate? It depends on if you expect rates to fall before you start your refinance. No one knows for sure which direction rates will go at a given time, so it helps to talk to your financial advisor and keep in close contact with a mortgage banker. Call us for a current mortgage interest rate assessment.

Should I pay discount points?

Discount points are interest prepaid to your lender at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Each discount point is equal to 1% of the loan amount, and is often called "buying down" your rate when you pay a point.

Does paying points make sense for you? The answer depends primarily on how long you plan to stay in your home. Your mortgage banker will calculate how much lower your monthly payments will be if you pay points and how long it will take for the monthly savings to add up to the cost of the points. If it would take five years to break even and you're planning to live in your home for ten, paying discount points may be a smart move. Call us for help with a custom calculation.

Will I have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance?

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) provides your lender with a way to recoup its investment if you are unable to repay your loan. PMI is usually required when the mortgage amount is higher than 80% of the home's value. If you are refinancing and currently pay PMI, ask your mortgage banker whether it can be removed from your new mortgage. There are numerous programs available with low cost, cancellable PMI options. Call us for a custom quote.

Can I refinance if I've had credit problems?

Your credit history is only one factor in qualifying for a mortgage, so late payments or other credit report blemishes don't necessarily disqualify you. There are a variety of mortgage options to help people with less-than-perfect credit obtain the right mortgage and leave credit challenges behind. Call us for help getting on the path to home ownership.

What will a lender look at when I apply for a refinance?

Lenders consider many factors when evaluating your loan application, but they usually focus on four areas:

1. Income and debt: How much money you make and what other bills you have to pay helps the lender determine if you can afford to make mortgage payments.
2. Assets: This assures the lender that you have enough money to cover a certain number of months worth of mortgage payments in case a sudden financial hardship arises.
3. Credit: Whether or not you've met past financial obligations helps the lender predict whether you will repay your new mortgage.
4. Property: Your home has to be worth enough to act as collateral for the mortgage.

Loan decisions are often unique, so if you’re unsure if you’ll qualify, call us today for advice.