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By Noel Dávila and Gabriel Rodriguez
Updated: February 23, 2022 9:20 AM ET | Originally published: February 7, 2022
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Best Overall
Best for Online Mortgage RefinancingBest MarketplaceBest for Fast Closing TimeBest Credit UnionBest for Jumbo Loans
Rocket MortgageloanDepotZillow Home LoansBetter Mortgage RefinanceNavy Federal Mortgage RefinanceAlly Financial
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Company Highlights

Highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for 8 consecutive years

No lender or appraisal fees after your first refinance with loanDepot

Look for homes and apply for financing, all in a single platform

Upfront pricing, no origination fees and loan estimates in seconds

$0 down options and step-by-step guidance from VA loan experts

Close up to 10 days faster and with no lender fees

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA loan)

620 (580 for FHA loan)

580 (FHA), 620 (VA), 640 (USDA), 680 (Conventional)

620

Not disclosed

620 (510 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, USDA Loans and Jumbo

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 10 to 40-year Mortgage, VA and FHA Loans

Fixed-rate mortgage, adjustable-rate mortgage, Jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA (in some states) and Conventional

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15, 20, and 30-year Mortgage

VA Loans, Fixed and Adjustable-rate Mortgage Loans, Jumbo Loans

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15, 20, and 30-year Mortgage, VA, FHA, and Jumbo Loans

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

Above Average

Not Rated

Above Average

Above Average

Not Rated

NMLS Regulatory Actions

8

3

3

6

2

2

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Not licensed in all 50 states

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except HI, MA, NV, and NH

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except AK, AR, HI, ID, IA, MT, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, UT, VT, WA, and WY

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except HI, MA, NV, NH, NY, RI, VT or VA

Best Overall
Rocket Mortgage
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for 8 consecutive years

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15- and 30-year Mortgage, FHA, VA, USDA Loans and Jumbo

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

8

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Best for Online Mortgage Refinancing
loanDepot
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

No lender or appraisal fees after your first refinance with loanDepot

Minimum Credit Score

620 (580 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 10 to 40-year Mortgage, VA and FHA Loans

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

3

Availability

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Best Marketplace
Zillow Home Loans
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Look for homes and apply for financing, all in a single platform

Minimum Credit Score

580 (FHA), 620 (VA), 640 (USDA), 680 (Conventional)

Refi Loan Types

Fixed-rate mortgage, adjustable-rate mortgage, Jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA (in some states) and Conventional

J.D. Power Rating

Not Rated

NMLS Regulatory Actions

3

Availability

Not licensed in all 50 states

Best for Fast Closing Time
Better Mortgage Refinance
Our Partner
See Rates
Company Highlights

Upfront pricing, no origination fees and loan estimates in seconds

Minimum Credit Score

620

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15, 20, and 30-year Mortgage

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

6

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except HI, MA, NV, and NH

Best Credit Union
Navy Federal Mortgage Refinance
See Rates
Company Highlights

$0 down options and step-by-step guidance from VA loan experts

Minimum Credit Score

Not disclosed

Refi Loan Types

VA Loans, Fixed and Adjustable-rate Mortgage Loans, Jumbo Loans

J.D. Power Rating

Above Average

NMLS Regulatory Actions

2

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except AK, AR, HI, ID, IA, MT, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, UT, VT, WA, and WY

Best for Jumbo Loans
Ally Financial
See Rates
Company Highlights

Close up to 10 days faster and with no lender fees

Minimum Credit Score

620 (510 for FHA loan)

Refi Loan Types

Adjustable-rate Mortgage, 15, 20, and 30-year Mortgage, VA, FHA, and Jumbo Loans

J.D. Power Rating

Not Rated

NMLS Regulatory Actions

2

Availability

Available in the District of Columbia and all states except HI, MA, NV, NH, NY, RI, VT or VA

The best refinance companies offer a variety of loan options to choose from. To make your mortgage refinance process easier, we also have a mortgage refinance calculator that can help you estimate how much you could save.

Our Top Picks for the Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders

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Lock in a lower interest rate by refinancing your mortgage.
For borrowers with strong credit histories, refinancing can be a good way to obtain a lower interest rate. Click on your state to get a free quote.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
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Best Mortgage Refinance Reviews

Why we chose it: We chose Rocket Mortgage (formerly Quicken Loans) as the best overall mortgage refinance company for its excellent track record in customer satisfaction, in-depth digital software, and web-based customer support. In 2021, Rocket was also the top mortgage originator in the United States.

Pros
  • Rated best mortgage servicer by JD Power
  • Largest mortgage originator in 2021
  • Streamlined online application process with eClosing
  • Features a mortgage refinance rates calculator
Cons
  • No in-person service, but you may reach out to an affiliated broker
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
876/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
8
Min. Credit Score
620 (580 for FHA)
Refi Loan Types
15- and 30-year Conventional, ARM, FHA, VA, Jumbo

Rocket Mortgage (NMLS ID# 3030) has consistently ranked in the top 3 in the J.D. Power U.S Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, outperforming most lenders for the eighth consecutive year. Although the company is deeply rooted in online technology, it also has over 3,000 home loan experts available seven days a week to help you complete your application over the phone.

RefiNow™ and Refi Possible are two new mortgage refinance options offered by Rocket Mortgage for those with a debt-to-income ratio of up to 65% who currently have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. Homeowners who qualify for this program will see a reduction of at least 0.5% of their interest rate and can also take advantage of up to $500 to cover appraisal costs. To qualify, the homeowner must have a good payment history, a FICO credit score of 620 or higher, and at least 3% equity in the one-unit primary residence.

Why we chose it: We chose Zillow as the best marketplace for its robust online presence, user-friendly mortgage calculator and competitive mortgage rates. We also love the fact that you can conveniently look for homes and get financing, all on the same platform.

Pros
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Wide range of online resources, including a mortgage calculator
  • Easy access to competitive rates, updated daily
  • Most of the application process is performed online
Cons
  • Not licensed to operate in all 50 states
  • No program to help homebuyers with bad credit
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. POWER RATING
Not Rated
NMLS REGULATORY ACTIONS
3
MIN. CREDIT SCORE
680 (Conventional), 580 (FHA), 620 (VA), 640 (USDA)
REFI LOAN TYPES
Fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo, VA, FHA, Conventional, USDA (in select states)

Zillow (NMLS ID#: 10287) is the number one real estate and rental website in the United States, according to reports. Besides connecting users with lenders offering the most current mortgage rates, the company recently launched Zillow Home Loans, a division that offers direct financing without involving third parties.

For refinancing, homebuyers are required to connect directly with a loan officer in order to get an estimate, since there is no cost information displayed on the Zillow Home Loans website. The company has expressed interest in making these numbers available in the future.

Moreover, Zillow claims to close over 10 days faster than other companies. The flexibility put forth by the company’s online resources appears to be their main competitive advantage. By shortening the process, Zillow allows its customers to save time, a valuable commodity by today’s standards.

Why we chose it: We chose Better as the best mortgage refinance company for fast closing times because consumers can obtain a rate quote and a letter of preapproval in just a few minutes. Better Mortgage also offers a price-match guaranteed rate.

Pros
  • Fast online process, with competitor price-match program
  • No origination, application or underwriting fees
  • Smart tech automatically looks for and applies eligible discounts
Cons
  • Online-only, no brick and mortar branches
  • Not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada or New Hampshire
  • Limited refinance loan type options
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
859/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
6
Min. Credit Score
620
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, Fixed-rate, ARM, FHA, Jumbo

Better Mortgage (NMLS ID# 330511) is an online lender with an easy mortgage refinance process that’s fast and straightforward. This lender offers low-interest rates and some of the lowest closing costs in the industry.

Better can afford to forego some of the fees charged by traditional brick-and-mortar lenders — such as application, underwriting and origination fees — because they operate fully online. Additionally, it offers a price guarantee if another lender has a more competitive price on their refinance products.

Better customers can upload and sign all their documents through the lender’s secure website. They also have direct access to one of the company’s dedicated loan officers.

Why we chose it: We chose loanDepot as the best mortgage refinance company for online mortgage refinancing due to its remarkable platform and wide availability across the US.

Pros
  • Licensed in all 50 states with over 200 locations in 43 states
  • Streamlined digital platform
Cons
  • Loan rates are not available online
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
856/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
3
Min. Credit Score
620 (580 for FHA)
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, fixed-rate, ARM, VA, FHA, HARP

loanDepot (NMLS# 174457) stands out for its “mello smartloan,” an end-to-end digital portal that employs artificial intelligence to verify asset and employment details and can also perform credit checks and begin the appraisal process.

loanDepot also has licensed loan consultants available to help consumers select the best mortgage product for their particular financial situation. By calling its lending officers, you can also request information on mortgage rates not readily available on the website.

Choosing loanDepot for a mortgage refinance is rewarded with a lifetime guarantee. The company offers to waive lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees on future refinances after you’ve refinanced with them at least once.

Why we chose it: We chose Navy Federal as the best mortgage refinance credit union because of its fast online preapproval process, choice of loan terms and benefits for borrowers who are also selling.

Pros
  • Online pre-approval application
  • Doesn't require private mortgage insurance (PMI)
Cons
  • Membership is limited to veterans, active-duty military, and their families
  • No FHA, USDA loans, construction loans, or reverse mortgages
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
861/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate Conventional, Cash-out, VA, VA Streamline, ARM, Jumbo

Navy Federal (NLMS# 399807) has mortgage refinancing options ranging from 10- to 30-year loan terms for their VA Streamline (IRRL) and Homebuyers Choice. The lender also offers the Military Choice loan for those who have exhausted their VA loan option. However, they don’t offer FHA, USDA loans, construction loans or reverse mortgages.

Realty Plus and Navy Federal Title Services are tools that facilitate the mortgage refinance process for homebuyers looking to refinance or sell and buy new property. Realty Plus connects you with a real estate agent and an agent coordinator to assist with your mortgage application. Further, if you close your mortgage with Navy Federal using Realty Plus, you can get between $400 and $8,000 cashback.

Navy Federal also offers Homesquad, a new option for potential buyers to get a faster preapproval for a mortgage loan. It allows borrowers to track their loan status 24/7 online or through their mobile device, upload documents easily, set up autopay, access payment history and other account activities, and request forbearance assistance.

Why we chose it: We chose Ally Financial as the best mortgage refinance company for jumbo loans due to its higher-than-average lending cap and lack of lender fees.

Pros
  • Online application, document uploads, and electronic signature options
  • No lender fees
  • Quotes don't impact your credit score
  • No PMI with a down payment of 20%
Cons
  • Mortgage applications can only be completed with an in-person visit
  • You may be required to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20%
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
Not Rated
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
700 for Jumbo (510 for FHA)
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo, Cash-out

Ally Financial (NLMS# 181005) stands out for its jumbo loans offerings of up to $4 million. For this type of loan, Ally offers a higher lending amount than other lenders, which usually cap at $2 million. Borrowers must pay a down payment of at least 20% for jumbo loans, and provide evidence that they can cover expenses for a certain amount of months. However, unlike other lenders, Ally accepts restricted stock units to count as reserve capital.

Potential borrowers can apply, submit documents and sign paperwork online, but can only complete and close down the loan application by visiting one of their branches. On their website, borrowers can find rates and a refinance mortgage calculator, among other information regarding refinancing and jumbo loans.

Why we chose it: We chose Nationwide as the best mortgage refinance company for borrowers with poor credit due to its strong programs for self-employed and low credit buyers, including its Lease Option Program.

Pros
  • Options for self-employed and low credit buyers
  • Customizable terms
  • Will match competitor's loan estimate offers
  • Free consultations
Cons
  • Only operates in CA, CO, TX, ID, WA, OK, MT and ND
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. POWER RATING
Not Rated
NMLS REGULATORY ACTIONS
None
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Conventional, VA, FHA, Jumbo

Nationwide offers mortgage refinance loans in partnership with AXOS Bank (NMLS # 524995). It features a Lease Option Program, which requires that you have at least a 10% down payment and enough income for closing costs and rent payment. Nationwide buys the home, and you sign a lease agreement with an option to buy within three years.

During those three years, you can live in your new home (paying the lease) while Nationwide helps you improve your credit score, sort out income reporting requirements or perform whatever other steps are necessary to help you get ready to purchase the home.

Nationwide also offers a Best Rate Guarantee, where they match a loan estimate from another lender.

Why we chose it: We chose Bank of America as the best mortgage refinance company for member discounts for its Preferred Rewards program, which offers significant price reductions on purchase and refinance closing costs.

Pros
  • Exclusive membership discounts available on both purchase and refinance closing costs
  • Physical branch locations available nationwide
  • Considers alternative credit data such as utility bills and rental payment history
Cons
  • No renovation loans
HIGHLIGHTS
J.D. Power Rating
859/1000
NMLS Regulatory Actions
2
Min. Credit Score
N/A
Refi Loan Types
Fixed-rate, ARM, FHA, VA, Cash-out, Home Equity

Bank of America (NMLS# 399802) members can benefit from its Preferred Rewards program by qualifying for a closing cost reduction of up to $600 from their purchase or refinance origination fees.

The program works in tiers ranging from Gold to Platinum Honors, with discount levels based on the tier for which each customer qualifies. A member’s tier is determined by qualifying balances in Bank of America banking and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Another perk of doing business with Bank of America is its digital services, including an online tool to track the progress of your mortgage loan and refinance application in real-time.

While the company doesn’t state credit score requirements on its website, you can consult one of their loan officers to see if you qualify for refinancing.

Other mortgage refinance companies we considered

When we looked at the refinance mortgage lending industry, we found that many of the biggest lenders didn’t necessarily offer the best refinance products, though they might excel in other areas.

Chase Review

(NMLS# 399798)

Pros
  • The sixth-largest originator of mortgage loans in the country (In 2020)
  • Large variety of loans: ARMs, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year mortgages, FHA and VA loans and DreamMaker Mortgage Program
  • Competitive mortgage interest rates
  • Online Refinance Learning Center with calculators for loan estimates, interest rates and terms
Cons
  • Several regulatory actions with the CFPB within the last five years (although none filed within the last four years)
  • High number of customer complaints with the CFPB
  • About Average rating in JD Power customer satisfaction survey
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
843/1000 9 620 DreamMaker®, Fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM

PNC Bank Review

(NMLS# 446303)

Pros
  • Has current mortgage rates and helpful calculators on its site
  • Home insight planner and application tracker
  • Considers non-traditional credit history
  • Online mortgage preapproval
Cons
  • The process can't be fully completed online
  • No branches in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, HI, ID, IA, LA, ME, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA or WY
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
751/1000 2 620 Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA

SunTrust Review (now Truist)

(NMLS# 399803)

Pros
  • Online mortgage application and tracking software
  • Comprehensive educational resources
Cons
  • Customized rates are only available with an application
  • Branches only in AL, AZ, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, TN and VA
  • Rates and fees not available online
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
825/1000 0 620 Cash-out, VA IRRRL

Alliant Credit Union Review

(NMLS# 197185)

Pros
  • Rate watch sends a notification when rates have hit your target
  • Complete the application process online
Cons
  • No government-backed loans
  • Doesn't disclose loan fees
  • No in-person banking
  • Must be a member to qualify
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
Not Rated 1 620 Fixed, ARM, Jumbo

Guild Mortgage Review

(NMLS# 3274)

Pros
  • Online mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking
  • Direct lender, services its own loans
  • Closing cost and total payment calculator
  • Highest rated by JD Power's US Primary Mortgage Originator Satisfaction Study
Cons
  • Not available in NY or NJ
  • Rates aren't available online unless you apply
  • Does not disclose fees
  • Branches only in 33 states
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
884/1000 3 640 Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Reverse

U.S. Bank Review

(NMLS# 402761)

Pros
  • Variety of refinance loan offerings
  • Rewards homeowners with an existing first mortgage with U.S. Bank
  • Great online tools, with a fully digital application and a proprietary app
  • Provides general mortgage rates, with the option to see results by state
  • Online prequalification
Cons
  • Customer satisfaction rating was below
  • Mortgage rates on the website assume a higher-than-average credit score
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
823/1000 0 620 Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Cash-out, IRRL

AmeriSave Mortgage Review

(NMLS# 1168)

Pros
  • Wide variety of loan options
  • Closing time average of 25 days
Cons
  • High number of regulatory actions with the NMLS
  • Doesn't disclose origination fees or closing costs
  • Not available in New York
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
803/1000 14 620 Rate and Term, Cash-out, FHA, USDA, VA

Reali Loans Review

(NMLS# 991397)

Pros
  • Completely online process
  • No origination fees
  • Customized rate quotes
Cons
  • Website makes customers enter their data to provide any info
  • No information about loan types
  • Only available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
Not Rated 5 620 Fixed-rate mortgage

Veterans United Home Loans Review

(NMLS# 1907)

Pros
  • Free credit counseling
  • Representatives available 24/7
Cons
  • Only has physical branches in 18 states
  • Won't refinance FHA or USDA loans
  • Doesn't disclose closing costs or fees
J.D. Power Rating NMLS Regulatory Actions Min. Credit Score Refi Loan Types
905/1000 3 620 Fixed, ARM, Jumbo, VA IRRRL, Cash-out
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Mortgage Refinance Guide

Our mortgage refinance guide provides information about the different types of mortgage loans, the benefits of refinancing a mortgage and what documents financial institutions require for a complete application.

Whatever your needs, read on to learn more about the process and to make the best-informed decision.

Types of mortgage refinance

Rate-and-term refinance

Also known as a “no cash-out refinance,” a rate-and-term refinance is the most common type of refi. When you do a rate-and-term refinance you take out a new loan with the same balance as your existing mortgage, but adjust the interest rate or the term (or both). For example, this type of loan could help you switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan. This option often has a lower interest rate than cash-out loans.

What to watch out for: You will still have to pay closing costs and go through the appraisal process again.

Zero-closing-cost refinance

Some lenders offer “no-closing-cost” or “zero-closing-cost” refinance loans for those who qualify. These let you roll closing costs into your mortgage loan. While you’ll still pay closing costs and interest on those fees, it won’t be upfront.

What to watch out for: Closing costs are folded into the principal amount, so your monthly payment is higher.

Cash-out refinancing

A cash-out refinance converts a portion of the home equity you’ve accumulated into cash, similarly to home equity loans (HELOC). You’re essentially replacing your existing mortgage with a new loan with a higher balance than your current loan. In turn, you get the difference as a tax-free cash advance paid to you at closing.

What to watch out for: The borrower may end up with a higher interest rate and monthly payment. Keep in mind that you should only borrow an amount that’s feasible to pay off.

Cash-in refinance

A cash-in refinance allows borrowers to lower their mortgage principal during a refinance negotiation. With this type of loan, the borrower makes a lump sum payment on their mortgage, lowering the principal balance on their new mortgage refinance loan.

Contrary to cash-out refinancing, this option may improve the chances of an underwater mortgage qualifying for a refinance. Generally, most lenders require a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of at least 80%.

What to watch out for: Your funds will be tied to your home, so you won’t be able to use them to pay off other debt, cover emergency expenses or invest.

Streamline refinance

Streamline refinance allows a borrower to refinance an existing FHA loan or VA loan with limited documentation or underwriting. These loans generally don’t require appraisals and may or may not require employment and income verification. You do need to show a history of on-time mortgage payments.

What to watch out for: The VA and HUD set specific qualification requirements for both loans and homes.

Low-income enterprise-backed mortgage refinance

In summer 2021, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented new refinance options for low-income borrowers. Eligible borrowers can now refinance their mortgage at a reduced interest rate and lower monthly payments. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), borrowers may save an estimated $100 to $250 a month.

To qualify, borrowers must:

  • Have a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) for the house they live in
  • Have an income at or below 80% of the area’s median income
  • Have no missed payments in the past six months and no more than one missed payment in the previous 12 months
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio below 65% or a FICO credit score of at least 620
  • Have a mortgage loan to value (LTV) ratio lower than 97%

Other federal programs that could help consumers who are facing financial hardship include Hope for Homeowners (HFH) and the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP).

Should you refinance your mortgage?

If you’re on the fence about mortgage refinance, here you can find information about the benefits of refinancing, what can that money be used for, and the documentation financial institutions require for a complete application.

Refinancing can help:

  • Lower the interest rate on your mortgage
  • Help you obtain a lower monthly payment
  • Shorten your loan term

Should I refinance with my current lender?

Before selecting a refinance mortgage lender:

You might find different lenders offer better deals in terms of refinance rates, loan products, or closing costs. Use our mortgage refinance calculator to get an idea of how much you could be saving.

Aside from refinancing with your current lender, another option is using a mortgage broker, an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. Some lenders work exclusively with brokers and offer better rates than a broker’s high volume of loans. However, brokers often receive fees from lenders for giving them business, or you might have to pay their fee yourself.

What do you need to refinance your mortgage?

There are three primary factors lenders consider when reviewing mortgage refinance applications: credit score, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

  • A low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: You need a DTI of up to 43% for conventional loans or less than 50% for FHA mortgage refinance, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). To get you started, we have a DTI ratio calculator.
  • A healthy FICO credit score: Most mortgage refinance lenders require a minimum credit score of 620 on your credit report, but you’ll get the best rates for a score upwards of 740.
  • A Loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 20% or more: The LTV is the amount of the loan you want to take out divided by the appraised value of your home.

☑ A copy of your government-issued ID or Social Security card

☑ Proof of income for the last 30 days

☑ W-2s for the past 2 years

☑ Federal tax returns (personal and business) for at least the last 2-3 years

☑ Written explanation if employed less than two years or if there’s a gap or change in employment

☑ Address of property to be refinanced and purchase contract

☑ Homeowners insurance information such as the agent’s name and contact information

☑ Bank statements and statements of assets

☑ Bankruptcy/ discharge papers if applicable

When is refinancing your mortgage not the best idea?

With so many homeowners running to refinance their mortgages these days, it’s also a good idea to pause and consider the big picture. Just because you can refinance doesn’t mean you should.

For starters, if your interest rate will not drop at least 0.5 to 0.75 percentage points, most experts will argue that it’s not worth it.

Refinancing also means closing costs and other potential fees. Even if you are paying less each month, it does not make sense to refinance if you will not recoup closing costs before you expect to move.

The following are a handful of reasons to reconsider a mortgage refinance:

  • If your refi terms won’t save you much in interest
  • Your credit score has taken a dive since your original mortgage
  • High closing costs
  • Your new minimum monthly payment will be out of your budget
  • You have plans to move out in the near future

If any of the above apply to your particular situation, it’s worth it to take a closer look at the specifics of a potential refinance and evaluate whether it’s the right choice for you.

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Latest News on Mortgage Refinance

If you think you can’t refinance a mortgage with bad credit, think again. It may take some time and patience, but can refinance your mortgage without an excellent score. The first step toward refinancing should be to check your credit report and credit score. Then, take stock of your finances to determine which loan options are within your grasp.

After you know what you might qualify for, start building your savings to afford closing costs and mortgage payments. Lastly, shop and compare offers from several different lenders so you get the best deal and apply with a cosigner who has good credit to improve your chances of approval.

When you're ready, follow these seven steps to refinance your mortgage:

  1. Define your refinancing goal (e.g. lower your rate, shorten your term, etc.)
  2. Check your home equity
  3. Check your credit score and credit report
  4. Calculate whether refinance costs with be worth it
  5. Get your W2, 1099 forms and other documents ready
  6. Shop around for a lender
  7. Lock in your rate
Best Mortgage Refinance FAQ
What is refinancing?
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Refinancing a mortgage is, essentially, replacing a current loan with a new one – whether changing the terms, interest rates or amount borrowed. In the best cases, refinancing can help you save money on your mortgage by negotiating a lower interest rate or reducing the number of years you need to pay.
How often can you refinance your home?
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There is no limit to the number of times you can refinance your mortgage. However, refinancing can be costly. Just because you can always refinance your home doesn't mean you should do so.
How much does it cost to refinance a mortgage?
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Refinancing your mortgage can cost around 2% to 6% of your loan amount. This includes fees for the loan application, loan origination, home appraisal, and more, depending on the type of mortgage. With a no closing cost refinance loan these fees get rolled into the loan balance or interest rate.
When to refinance a mortgage?
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The best time to refinance a mortgage is when interest rates are lower than when you locked in your rate and closed on your current mortgage. Refinancing when rates are lower will allow you to reduce your monthly payments. You may also refinance to a shorter term and pay more each month but save on interest over the life of the loan.
What are today's mortgage refinance rates?
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Available mortgage interest rates are constantly changing. On February 1st, for example, the average for a 30-year refinance was 4.041%. That was a bit lower than the previous day. Money publishes the latest average rates each day.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

Our methodology considered:

Summary of Money’s Best Refinance Companies of February 2022