Couple sitting on couch reading on a tablet about refinancing

How soon can you refinance a mortgage?

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have done it all before, buying a new home is an exciting time with a lot to get done. What if you’re still settling into the neighborhood and mortgage interest rates drop lower than your current rate? Refinancing your mortgage loan could potentially help you save on interest and lower your monthly mortgage payments.

While there are many great reasons to take out a new loan, there is such a thing as refinancing too soon. To find out if the timing is right to refinance, first, calculate closing costs and fees and how much it can change your payment. Most importantly, figure out how long it will take for you to break-even. The answers to these frequently asked questions will help guide when you can refinance and weigh the pros and cons of refinancing quickly after purchasing a home.

When can you start refinancing your home?

Generally, six months of payments are required on your current loan before you can qualify to refinance. However, timing is subject to specific loan program guidelines.

When is a good time to refinance your home?

The best time to refinance depends on your financial situation and reasons for refinancing. Some borrowers do a quick review of their mortgage once a year to check whether a refinance would be beneficial. Others review when interest rates drop. If you’re considering refinancing a mortgage loan, it’s a good idea first to calculate how much it can change your payment and when you’ll reach the break-even point. The break-even point is how long it’ll take for the amount you save with lower payments to outweigh the expense of refinancing. If you plan to sell your home before your break-even point, it doesn’t make sense to refinance.

What are the pros and cons of refinancing quickly?

Regardless of when you decide to refinance, there are both advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of refinancing soon after purchase

  1. Save on interest payments

    If interest rates have dropped since your loan closed, a refinance may be advantageous. With a significant rate drop, you can potentially save on interest payments and lower your monthly payments.*

  2. Take advantage of better credit

    Has your credit score improved recently because you’ve been making your mortgage payments on time, every time? If you’re now eligible for a more favorable interest rate, it may be a good idea to take advantage of your improved credit by refinancing sooner rather than later.

  3. Take advantage of better credit

    Did you get a promotion or a raise at work? If your income has gone up since your original loan closed, you may qualify for a shorter-term loan. Conversely, if your income has decreased, you may choose to refinance to a longer-term loan to lower your monthly payments.

Cons of refinancing too quickly

  1. Your credit score may temporarily be lower

    Because a mortgage adds to your debt and involves a hard credit inquiry, your credit score may temporarily dip when purchasing a new home. However, if you consistently make your mortgage payments on time and keep your debt-to-income ratio low, mortgages can boost your credit score in the long run. By waiting to refinance, your credit score could improve, increasing your chances of qualifying for an even better rate.

  2. You may not recoup your costs

    Low interest rates are tempting; however, the costs of a refinance could cancel out potential savings. Refinancing your mortgage can carry most of the same fees and expenses as your initial purchase mortgage—including an appraisal, processing fees, and other loan closing costs.

  3. There may be penalties

    Check to see if your home loan carries an early payoff penalty before obtaining a mortgage refinance.

Guild Mortgage was ranked in the top-10 mortgage lenders in 2020 by The Mortgage Reports based on its experience, good loan options and strong customer satisfaction ratings. Consult with a qualified mortgage professional to discuss the refinance advantages for your specific situation and verify your refinance eligibility.

*By refinancing an existing loan to reduce monthly payments, a consumer’s total finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan.

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.

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About the Author: Guild Mortgage

Founded in 1960 when the modern U.S. mortgage industry was just forming, Guild Mortgage Company is a nationally recognized independent mortgage lender providing residential mortgage products and local in-house origination and servicing. Guild’s collaborative culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion enable it to deliver a personalized experience for each customer. With more than 4,000 employees and over 250 retail branches, Guild has relationships with credit unions, community banks, and other financial institutions and services loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Guild’s highly trained loan professionals are experienced in government-sponsored programs such as FHA, VA, USDA, down payment assistance programs and other specialized loan programs. Guild Mortgage Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guild Holdings Company, whose shares of Class A common stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GHLD.