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Mortgage Refinance 101

What To Do If You Decide To Refinance

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Shop around: Check at least three lenders, including the one that holds your existing mortgage. To get started, consider speaking with at least one mortgage broker. Their job is to have a fix on the various mortgages available, and an understanding of the ones for which you qualify. As a general matter, they get paid by the lender. Since they don't work for all lenders, it's wise to do some research on your own.

Some well known places to start:

We haven't worked with any of these companies so proceed with caution.

To find a licensed mortgage broker, check with your financial planner, accountant or lawyer.

Ask if you can obtain mortgage life insurance to cover the new mortgage. (The amount of the life insurance decreases in step with decreases in the amount you owe on your mortgage.) If you can obtain this insurance, it may be worth refinancing even if the costs are higher than your current mortgage because the insurance will pay off your mortgage if you die. In essence, you will increase the value of your estate by the amount the insurance policy pays.

When deciding about the type and length of mortgage, consider how long you plan to live in the home and your ability to make the payments if the interest rate increases to the maximum variable rate. Generally, the longer the period you plan to live in the home, the more likely you are to be better off with the fixed-rate mortgage.

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