Money / Savings

9 Essential Questions To Ask When Refinancing a Mortgage 

refinance mortgage

Refinancing a mortgage can be a strategic move for many homeowners seeking to capitalize on lower interest rates, reduce monthly payments, or alter the term of their loan. As beneficial as refinancing might be, it’s crucial to approach this financial maneuver with a well-informed mindset.  

Below are essential questions to ask when refinancing a mortgage. 

1. What Are My Financial Goals? 

Identifying clear financial objectives is the first step in determining whether refinancing is a viable option. Homeowners commonly refinance to reduce their interest rates, which can significantly lower monthly payments and total borrowing costs. Others might aim to shorten the term of their mortgage to pay off their home faster, or to consolidate high-interest debt into a lower-interest mortgage.  

By establishing what you aim to achieve, you can deal with the refinancing process more effectively. However, to help you select the most suitable mortgage refinancing solutions, you may check out reputable resources online or speak with experienced professionals.   

2. How Will Refinancing Affect My Interest Rate?  

One of the main motivations for homeowners to refinance their mortgage is to take advantage of a lower interest rate than what they initially secured. This reduction in interest rates can directly translate into decreased monthly payments, enabling substantial savings over the mortgage’s duration. When contemplating refinancing, it’s crucial for homeowners to actively monitor current mortgage rates and evaluate them against the rates of their existing mortgage to ensure a beneficial decision.  

Typically, the refinancing process is considered financially worthwhile if the new interest rate is at least 0.75% to 1% lower than the existing rate. This benchmark serves as a practical guideline for homeowners to assess the potential savings and overall impact of refinancing their mortgage. 

3. What Are The Costs Associated With Refinancing?  

Refinancing comes with various fees and costs that can include application fees, origination fees, appraisal fees, and others. Understanding these costs is crucial as they can add up and impact on the overall savings gained from refinancing. It’s also essential to calculate the break-even point, which is the time it takes for the monthly savings from the lower interest rate to surpass the upfront costs of refinancing. If the time to break even is shorter than the anticipated time you plan to stay in the home for a long time before moving, refinancing might be a beneficial choice.

4. Is My Credit Score High Enough To Qualify For A Better Rate? 

Your credit score is a crucial factor in the refinancing process, as it largely determines the interest rate you can secure. Prior to initiating a refinancing application, it’s essential to review your credit score and detailed credit report. This step allows you to identify and rectify any inaccuracies or errors that could be artificially lowering your score.  

By improving these issues, you can potentially boost your credit rating and enhance your eligibility for more favorable refinancing terms. If your credit score has increased since you originally secured your mortgage, you’re likely to qualify for significantly improved terms, which could include lower interest rates. This can lead to reduced monthly payments and overall cost savings on your mortgage. 

5. What Loan Term Is Best For My Financial Situation?  

Refinancing your mortgage offers a pivotal chance to reevaluate the term of your loan, aligning it more closely with your current financial goals and circumstances. Many homeowners opt to switch from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage during refinancing. This change generally comes with lower interest rates and accelerates the equity-building process in the home, albeit at the cost of higher monthly payments.  

On the other hand, extending the mortgage term, such as moving from a 15-year to a 30-year loan, can reduce your monthly payments. However, this extension means you’ll end up paying a greater total amount in interest over the extended duration of the loan. This trade-off requires careful consideration based on your long-term financial plans and current economic situation. 

6. Should I Go For A Fixed-Rate Or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?  

Deciding whether to choose a fixed-rate or adjustable mortgage depends mainly on your financial condition, risk tolerance and market prospects. Typically, financial planning becomes easier with fixed rate mortgages as they offer stability in the name of equal monthly payments. In contrast with fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) may start at lower rates but could become riskier as rates can rise over time. 

Therefore, if you intend to be residing in that house for a long time, then fixed-rate is probably better suited for you. However, if you anticipate moving or refinancing again within a few years, an ARM could be more advantageous. 

7. What Is My Equity Position?   

The amount of equity one has on their home plays a major role when trying to refinance it since it will either determine your legibility or dictate the terms of any new loan that you might get. Refinancing requires homeowners to have at least 20% equity in their homes to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is expensive. Having more equity can also help by making you eligible for better interest rates and loan conditions.  

Also, evaluating current home equity enables you to obtain necessary information about your refinancing alternatives so you can make sound choices based on both your own financial goals and the market conditions surrounding them. 

8. Are There Alternatives To Traditional Refinancing?  

For some homeowners, alternatives like a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a Home Equity Loan may be more suitable than traditional refinancing. These options can also provide access to lower interest rates or additional funds but are structured differently. By understanding the differences, you can choose the best method for accessing home equity based on your specific financial needs.  

9. What Is The Impact Of Refinancing On My Taxes?  

Refinancing can affect your tax situation, particularly the deductibility of mortgage interest. Under current tax laws, the interest paid on a mortgage of up to USD$750,000 is deductible if itemizing deductions on your tax return. This limit includes any additional loans secured by the home, such as a second mortgage or a HELOC. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to understand how refinancing could affect your tax liabilities. 


By thoughtfully considering these questions, you can better navigate the complexities of refinancing and make a decision that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances. Each homeowner’s situation is unique, and thus, it’s crucial to tailor the refinancing strategy to individual needs and market conditions. 

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!