The Truth About Mortgage Refinancing

It seems like everyone is jumping on the mortgage refinancing bandwagon. Maybe you're thinking about it yourself? After all, with rates as low as they are, the promise of lowering your monthly payments, sometimes significantly, is a great attraction for many homeowners.


But before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you should know about the way refinancing works so you don’t make a mistake that could wind up costing you big time.

"With refinancing as popular as it is right now, Louisiana residents have to be even more careful about shopping for the best loan," says Melanie Rogers, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana based mortgage consultant. "Even the most attractive offer can wind up being a disaster once you realize how much the loan is really costing you."

Rogers offers these tips when considering refinancing:

* You should get a significantly lower rate for refinancing to make sense. Don't rush to refinance unless it's truly worth your while. If you're working with a mortgage broker rather than going it alone, you can be assured that they're bringing you the best offers out there. If you're going it alone, you'll have to do the legwork for yourself.

* Consolidating unsecured debt with a refinance loan can be a dangerous idea. You may not be in financial trouble now, but if in a few years things change, instead of simply missing a credit card payment or two, you'll now be in danger of losing your home as well.

* Your credit score counts... big time. If you've had credit problems in the past like a bankruptcy, it might make sense to wait a while for your credit score to recover before trying to refinance. Most lenders make it hard for people with less than perfect credit to get the best deals. But, again, if you choose to let an expert like a mortgage broker get involved in the process, they can often find loan options that most homeowners didn’t even know existed - which can save you thousands over the long haul.

Melanie Rogers is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based mortgage expert.

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