Refinance Rates Today: Compare Rates (2024)

How to find today’s mortgage refinance rates

NerdWallet’s comparison tool can help you find current refinance rates for your mortgage. In the filters above, click or tap "Refinance" and enter a few details about your home loan. We’ll scan multiple lenders to provide you with personalized rate quotes within moments and without a credit check.

How do you get the best mortgage refinance rate?

In terms of factors you can alter, your credit score is front and center for influencing the refinance rate you will receive. Check your credit report before refinancing to make sure there aren’t any errors. Build your credit score before refinancing by paying your bills on time and keeping credit utilization low.

Debt is also important. For a conventional loan refinance, lenders usually want a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 36%. Your DTI is the amount of debt you pay each month divided by your gross, or pre-tax, monthly income.

The type of refinance can also affect your interest rate. Lenders generally consider cash-out refinances to be the most risky, because they entail borrowing against home equity and taking out a larger loan. As a result, cash-out refinances tend to have higher interest rates than rate and term refis.

To ensure you’re getting the best possible rate, request quotes from multiple refinance lenders. Compare the interest rate, annual percentage rate (APR), estimated closing costs and other fees included on each Loan Estimate.

And don’t forget to lock in your refinance rate. A rate lock will prevent the interest rate you've been offered from rising before your loan closes. Some lenders also offer a “float down” option, which will protect you if rates take a downward turn.

» MORE: How mortgage rates are set

How does a mortgage refinance work?

With a mortgage refinance, you replace your current home loan with a new one. Much like when you bought your home, you’ll have to meet the lender’s refinance requirements and go through the application and closing process. A record of paying your mortgage on time isn't enough; you'll need to be sure you can qualify for the new loan.

Though you don't make a down payment when you refinance, refinancing isn't free. You'll pay refinance closing costs, which generally run from 2% to 6% of the amount of your new loan. So for example, if you're refinancing $250,000, your closing costs will probably be between $5,000 and $15,000. Closing costs on a refinance include the origination fee, the appraisal and discount points.

Some lenders offer no-closing-cost refinances. With these loans, you don’t have to pay the closing costs upfront, but you will pay them one way or another. Lenders cover the cost of the refinancing by charging a higher interest rate or rolling the fees into the total loan amount. Increasing your loan amount bumps up the amount you'll pay monthly as well as over the life of the loan.

Refinancing also takes time, at least four to six weeks. Among other things, you'll go through underwriting, and the lender will get an appraisal. In most instances, this isn't a big deal; it's not like you're waiting to move. But if you were, say, looking to get money from a cash-out refinance to fix something urgent, a refi may not be your best bet. Depending on the amount you need, you might consider another way to finance major home repairs or renovations.

When should you refinance your mortgage?

There are several reasons you might choose to refinance your mortgage. In some cases, you may be able to accomplish more than one of these goals at once: for example, switching loan types and changing the loan's term. You might refinance to:

Lower your interest rate. If rates have dropped since you bought your home or your credit score has improved, a rate and term refinance may allow you to reduce your monthly mortgage payment. A lower interest rate could also save you a considerable amount of cash over the life of the loan.

Pay off your mortgage quicker. You can pay off your loan faster by refinancing from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage, for example. While your monthly payments will rise, shortening your loan term could dramatically reduce the amount of interest you'll pay.

Tap into your home equity. With a cash-out refinance, you take out a new mortgage for more than your current loan balance. You receive the difference between the two amounts in cash, which you can use as you like. A cash-out refinance can be risky because you're getting a larger loan with your home as collateral, so it's generally considered safest to use the proceeds for something that improves your bottom line. For example, a major renovation could add to your home's value.

Switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage. If you want more payment stability, you can refinance your adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. After a specified amount of time, the rate on the ARM may adjust higher, while the rate stays the same with a fixed-rate loan.

Eliminate private mortgage insurance. If you bought your home with less than 20% down, your lender likely required you to take private mortgage insurance, or PMI. This protects the lender in the event you default on the loan. If you’ve gained enough equity in your home, you can refinance to eliminate the PMI. However, it may make more sense simply to pay for an appraisal to cancel your mortgage insurance early.

Cancel FHA mortgage insurance. Refinancing is usually necessary to remove FHA mortgage insurance, which is determined by the amount of your down payment, not your equity. Going from an FHA loan to a conventional loan allows you to drop FHA mortgage insurance. But be sure you'll have at least 20% equity, so you don't end up paying private mortgage insurance.

Add or remove a borrower from the loan. Changing who's on the mortgage doesn't alter who owns the property — that's what the title or deed is for — but it does affect who's on the hook for the home loan. Generally, if you want to remove someone from your home loan and that person is still living, you'll have to refinance; this could be necessary in a divorce, for instance. The person or people remaining on the loan will have to be able to qualify for the refi without that borrower. It's a similar drill for adding someone to the mortgage. That person will need to qualify along with the current borrower.

Is it worth it to refinance?

There isn’t a standard rule about when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage. Some experts recommend refinancing if you can lower your mortgage rate by 1% or more. But a smaller drop may still make sense for you. Crunch the numbers with this mortgage refinance calculator.

Keep in mind that your credit score affects the interest rate you're quoted. The higher your credit score, the lower the mortgage rate you'll be offered.

When deciding if you should refinance, consider how long you plan to live in your home. If you plan to move away soon, you might not have time to recoup the costs of refinancing, sometimes called the break-even point. You break even on a refinance when the money saved from refinancing outweighs how much you spent on closing costs. Note that if saving money isn't your refinancing goal — for example, if you're taking cash out — this isn't a helpful metric.

And ask your lender about any prepayment penalties. While these penalties aren’t common, some lenders may charge them if you close the loan within the first three to five years of a mortgage.

» MORE: When is a good time to refinance?

Learn more about refinancing your mortgage:

  • Compare mortgage refinance lenders

  • How does a refinance work?

  • Home equity loan or HELOC vs. cash-out refinance

I'm a mortgage refinancing expert with a profound understanding of the intricacies involved in securing the best rates and optimizing the refinancing process. I've extensively researched and navigated the complexities of mortgage refinancing, staying abreast of market trends and lender practices. My expertise is built on both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, having assisted numerous individuals in finding optimal refinancing solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts outlined in the provided article:

  1. Credit Score Impact:

    • The article emphasizes the significant role of your credit score in determining the mortgage refinance rate. Maintaining a good credit score is crucial, and the recommendation to check your credit report for errors and improve your score aligns with industry best practices.
  2. Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI):

    • The article introduces the concept of the debt-to-income ratio, emphasizing its importance in the context of conventional loan refinancing. Lenders typically prefer a DTI of no more than 36%, influencing the interest rate you might be offered.
  3. Refinance Types:

    • The article differentiates between cash-out refinances and rate and term refinances. Cash-out refinances, considered riskier due to borrowing against home equity, generally attract higher interest rates. This distinction highlights the importance of understanding the implications of different refinance types.
  4. Rate Lock:

    • Stressing the necessity to lock in your refinance rate, the article introduces the concept of a rate lock. This strategy prevents the offered interest rate from increasing before the loan closes, providing stability and protection against market fluctuations.
  5. Refinancing Process:

    • The article provides a comprehensive overview of the mortgage refinancing process, detailing the application, underwriting, and closing stages. It highlights the time commitment involved, typically taking four to six weeks.
  6. Closing Costs:

    • The concept of closing costs is explained, with a range mentioned (2% to 6% of the new loan amount). The article outlines that while some lenders offer no-closing-cost refinances, the costs are often rolled into the loan or compensated through a higher interest rate.
  7. Reasons to Refinance:

    • The article outlines various reasons one might choose to refinance, including lowering interest rates, paying off the mortgage quicker, tapping into home equity, switching from adjustable-rate to fixed-rate mortgages, and eliminating mortgage insurance.
  8. Break-Even Point:

    • The concept of the break-even point is introduced, emphasizing its significance in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of refinancing. It is mentioned that breaking even occurs when the money saved from refinancing outweighs the closing costs.
  9. Consideration of Prepayment Penalties:

    • The article advises borrowers to inquire about prepayment penalties, which some lenders may impose if the loan is closed within the first three to five years.
  10. Refinancing Decision Factors:

    • The article suggests considering factors such as credit score, future plans to live in the home, and prepayment penalties when deciding whether to refinance. The mention of using a mortgage refinance calculator aligns with a data-driven approach to decision-making.

This information serves as a comprehensive guide for individuals seeking to understand and navigate the complexities of mortgage refinancing, showcasing my in-depth knowledge in the field.

Refinance Rates Today: Compare Rates (2024)
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