Are You Ready To Refinance - Try An FHA Mortgage
Do you know the FHA loan refinance is similar to applying for other mortgages except qualifying standards are easier and protections superior. Here are 6 practical steps the Federal Housing Administration recommends you take to determine if FHA mortgage loans are right for you.
Are you ready to refinance? An FHA loan refinance may be just the ticket.
If you are a homeowner, you have already experienced applying for a mortgage. According to FHA, refinancing with this insured mortgage is the same as applying for any other home loan but in addition qualifying standards are easier and protections better.
The following six pointers from the Federal Housing Administration will help you decide whether an FHA loan refinance is worth pursuing.
1. Do you currently finance with an FHA home loan?
If you do, there are a few more options available to you such as an FHA streamline refinance. Call the toll free number of your lender to ask what type of program finances your home if you aren't sure. No matter which mortgage you've had in the past, an FHA loan refinance might be right for you today.
2. Why are you refinancing?
Perhaps you intend to take advantage of the current interest rate environment. Consider combining high interest debt into your mortgage. If you intend to make some home improvements, you may be contemplating the option of taking out cash from a portion of your equity.
Whatever your home loan refinance goals are, knowing your primary purpose to refinance will help determine if there is an applicable FHA refinance mortgage for you.
3. How much can you afford?
Most people let their lender tell them what they can afford but there is a fundamental difference between affordability and qualification.
I looked up afford in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Afford means manage or bear without serious detriment.
But no lender can tell you what you can manage without detriment to your financial affairs. Only you can decide that. So before you contact an approved FHA lender, give some serious thought to how much you can afford in a home loan.
4. Shop for an FHA approved lender.
Contact several lenders. Prepare a cheat sheet telling why you are in the market for a refinance and that you are considering FHA home loans. Not all lenders are approved by the Federal Housing Administration so ask upfront if they have approval.
Compare mortgage closing costs and interest rates between lenders. Ask for a preliminary Good Faith Estimate detailing fees, loan amounts, interest rate, loan program and monthly payments. Then simply compare the information.
Also ask when you can lock in your interest rate, for how long, and if there are charges for locking, upfront or included in the loan. Find out the policy if interest rates were to drop during the FHA loan refinance process. Request and review a written rate lock agreement before making application.
5. Ask to be prequalified upfront.
Prequalification works well for refinancing because it is not as in depth as mortgage preapproval. Because prequalification is informal, you don't need to provide social security numbers. This eliminates multiple credit inquiries.
Getting prequalified by a lender helps to estimate the amount you will be qualified to borrow. The amount will be based on simple criteria, for example salary, debt ratios, and whether you've had a foreclosure or bankruptcy in the past.
Most mortgage brokers will do this over the phone or in person if you prefer.
6. Now it is time to apply for the FHA refinance mortgage.
Your lender will order your credit report and give you a checklist of documentation they require to process your FHA loan refinance.
No need to put off refinancing when FHA could be your open door.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Ford, a mortgage insider at Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com understands how to explain the benefits of the FHA loan refinance, a must for any home owner to consider today. Discover how Kate's FHA eligibility calculator helps you determine what you can afford.