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Encyclopedia > Refinancing

Refinancing refers to the replacement of an existing debt obligation with a debt obligation bearing different terms. The most common consumer refinancing is for a home mortgage. This article is about the legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor. ...

Contents

Advantages

Refinancing may be undertaken to reduce interest costs (by refinancing at a lower rate), to extend the repayment time, to pay off other debts, to reduce one's periodic payment obligations (sometimes by taking a longer-term loan), to reduce or alter risk (such as by refinancing from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan), and/or to raise cash for investment, consumption, or the payment of a dividend. An interest rate is the price a borrower pays for the use of money he does not own, and the return a lender receives for deferring his consumption, by lending to the borrower. ... For other uses, see Debt (disambiguation). ...


In essence, refinancing can alter the monthly payments owed on the loan either by changing the loan's interest rate, or by altering the term to maturity of the loan. More favourable lending conditions may reduce overall borrowing costs.


Another use of refinancing is to reduce the risk associated with an existing loan. Interest rates on adjustable-rate loans and mortgages shift up and down based on the movements of the various indicies used to calculate them. By refinancing an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate one, the risk of interest rates increasing dramatically is removed, thus ensuring a steady interest rate over time. This flexibility comes at a price as lenders typically charge a risk premium for fixed rate loans.


In the context of personal (as opposed to corporate) finance, refinancing a loan or a series of debts can assist in paying off high-interest debt such as credit card debt, with lower-interest debt such as that of a fixed-rate home mortgage. This can allow a lender to reduce borrowing costs by more closely aligning the cost of borrowing with the general creditworthiness and collateral security available from the borrower. For home mortgages, in the United States, there may be certain tax advantages available with refinancing, particularly if one does not pay Alternative Minimum Tax. Look up credit card in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...        Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a tax system that is part of the federal income tax system in the United States. ...


Risks

Most fixed-term debt contains penalty clauses (known as "call provisions") that are triggered by an early payment of the loan, either in its entirety or a specified portion. In addition, there are also closing and transaction fees typically associated with refinancing debt. In some cases, these fees may outweigh any savings generated through refinancing the loan itself. Typically, one only rationally considers refinancing if the potential for a substantial cost savings exists, or if there is a need to extend the loan due to weak cash flow or other non-recurring committments. A payment is the act of transfering wealth into another person or company. ...


In addition some refinanced loans, while having lower initial payments, may result in larger total interest costs over the life of the loan, or expose the borrower to greater risks than the existing loan, depending on the type of loan used to refinance the existing debt. Calculating the up-front, ongoing, and potentially variable costs of refinancing is an important part of the decision on whether or not to refinance. In economics, business, and accounting, a cost is the value of inputs that have been used up to produce something, and hence are not available for use anymore. ...


Points

Main article: Point (mortgage)

Refinancing lenders often require an upfront payment of a certain percentage of the total loan amount as part of the process of refinancing debt. Typically, this amount is expressed in "points" (also sometimes called "premiums"), with each "point" being equivalent to 1% of the total loan amount. Therefore, if the refinance option selected involves paying three points, then the borrower will need to pay 3% of the total loan amount upfront. Most refinancing lenders offer a variety of combinations points and interest rates. Paying more points typically allows one to get a lower interest rate than one would be capable of getting if one paid fewer or no points. Alternately, some lenders will offer to finance parts of the loan themselves, thus generating so-called "Negative points" (also called discounts). This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


The decision of whether or not to pay points, and how many points to pay, should be taken in consideration of the fact that with points, one tends to trade a higher upfront cost in exchange for a lower monthly premium later on. Points can be paid out of the cash saved by refinancing the loan in the first place.


Types

No-Closing Cost

Borrowers with this type of refinancing typically pay few upfront fees to get the new mortgage loan.[citation needed] In fact as long as the prevailing market rate is lower than your existing rate by 1.5 percentage point or more, it is financially beneficial to refinance because there is little or no cost in doing so.[citation needed]


Cash-Out

This type of refinance may not help lower the monthly payment or shorter mortgage periods. It can be used for home improvement, credit card and other debt consolidation if the borrower qualifies with their current home equity; they can refinance with a loan amount larger than their current mortgage and keep the cash difference.


References

External links

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Streamlining your Mortgage
  • U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs - Mortgage Refinancing Information

  Results from FactBites:
 
Refinance - Mortgage Refinancing Rates and Information (751 words)
Refinancing is when you apply for a secured loan in order to pay off another different loan secured against the same assets, property etc. If this original loan had a fixed interest rate mortgage which has now declined considerably, then you would like to avail of a new loan at a more favorable interest rate.
Typically home refinancing is done when you have a mortgage on your home and apply for a second loan to pay off the first one.
By refinancing your mortgage when interest rates are lower, you can exchange a higher interest rate for a lower one, which, in turn, will lower your monthly payment.
Refinancing - definition of Refinancing in Encyclopedia (157 words)
Refinancing refers to applying for a secured loan intended to replace an existing loan secured by the same assets.
Also, some refinanced loans, while having lower initial payments, may result in larger total interest costs over the life of the loan, or expose the borrower to greater risks than the existing loan.
Calculating the up-front, ongoing, and potentially variable costs of refinancing is an important part of the decision on whether or not to refinance.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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