Homeowners looking to refinance their mortgage usually base their decision on the current interest rates. To make sure that you do not lose out on the opportunity to lock-in low rates on your mortgage, you need to know how long does it take to refinance a mortgage.
When you are aware of the process involved and the time that it will take, you can take a refinancing decision and plan your finances accordingly.
The simple answer to how long does it take to refinance a mortgage is that it can be anywhere between two to four weeks before the whole process is completed. However, it can also take much longer and the exact time it will take depends on how smoothly the different steps of the process go.
For example, how soon can the appraisal be done and whether or not all the documents are in order can have a major impact on the total time taken for refinancing a mortgage.
How long does it take to refinance a house? The answer can vary widely, as different homeowners have different levels of organization and understanding of the process as a whole. If you already have copies of all the relevant documentation and a full understanding of what is necessary for a refinance approval, you will be in good shape to move forward with confidence. By doing your research and preparing for the process, you can help ensure you get approved without any major hurdles.
Here is an overview of the steps involved in the refinance process and both the borrower and the lender are responsible to ensure that all of these go smoothly so that refinancing can be completed in the expected timeframe.
It is highly recommended to use a mortgage broker who can suggest a suitable lender for refinancing your mortgage. You need to quickly settle the terms of engagement with the broker so that you can initiate the refinance process as soon as possible.
When you first consult with a broker about your refinance options, it is important that you have your priorities straight. Instead of focusing on rates, fees and other financial details, hone in on what a broker can offer you when it comes to providing the best service possible and the terms of the loan. Many borrowers get fixated on the interest rate, particularly in the rising interest rate environment we currently find ourselves, and neglect to understand the terms of a loan.
It’s easy to pick out the lowest rate on the market for a loan, but what about penalties, fees, home equity options, amortization, and other factors? A professional mortgage advisor will walk through all these intricacies with you so that you are equipped to make the best decision possible based on your situation.
Working with a broker gives you the opportunity to gain professional insight about mortgage refinancing, so take advantage of it. Ask your broker about any questions that you have. (The first might be: How long does it take to refinance a house?) The more you understand about refinancing, the better able you will be to navigate the process efficiently.
The process of mortgage refinancing can be quick if you have all the necessary documents in place. Other than the loan application, details of your existing mortgage, identification documents, tax return statements, etc., should be kept ready.
Once the documents are submitted, a title search to ensure that there are no other liens on the property is ordered. You credit report is another document that would be needed and it can sometimes act as a bottleneck.
If you are unsure of what your credit score is, you should get your report before submitting your loan application. It’s essential that you understand your score because it can have such a significant bearing on your ability to get approved for a loan. Although brokers and lenders don’t accept consumer-pulled reports, it’s important for you to understand your current credit score.
If you already know your score is on the low side, take the time to build your credit back up before applying for a loan. Being denied for a loan is a hassle—and it can also ding your credit report.
Even if you have bad credit but have equity in your home, there are still lending options. So, don’t let a low credit score discourage you from speaking with a mortgage professional.
Equifax is the key credit agency in Canada. You should also ensure that you identify through Equifax any issues, inconsistencies, or errors in your report before a lender does. Most credit report agencies offer a free credit check to consumers, so take advantage of it and analyze your full report. It is somewhat common for small clerical issues to influence a credit report in significant ways. Scrutinize your report for anything that’s not quite right and ask for corrections when needed.
A fresh property appraisal is an important part of the mortgage refinance process. Scheduling and getting the appraisal completed on time is a key determinant of the time taken to refinance a mortgage. The mortgage broker can suggest appraisers in your area who can complete this step quickly.
Most appraisals cost several hundred dollars—and you will likely be expected to foot the bill. Although appraisals might seem like an unnecessary expense, they are an essential piece of information for your lender to have. Depending on the size of the loan and your credit, it is possible that the broker will cover the expenses. Further, for mortgage transfers at renewal, the lenders will often cover the cost.
The underwriter will assess your financial situation and the equity in your home in comparison with the amount of loan requested. Your monthly income, bank statements, and credit history will all be considered.
All the financial documents provided by you will be evaluated to determine whether you are a low-risk or high-risk borrower. If you have a good credit score, you can expect the underwriting process to be completed faster.
These days, thanks to the advent of automation, the underwriting for your home might actually be performed in part by a computer. There are several types of underwriting software that can process details and complete the process virtually unaided.
In most cases, an underwriter will use the information processed by the software and verify details by asking for additional information when necessary. Still, regardless of how this process gets completed, it’s critical that you have all relevant documents ready in the event you are asked to supply additional information.
Once all these steps have been completed, the lender will close the loan and the loan amount will be disbursed to prepay the existing mortgage. If you are not satisfied with the prepayment terms and intend to negotiate with the previous lender, there could be a further delay before the loan can be closed.
Exactly how long does it take to refinance a mortgage depends on your individual case and the mortgage broker or the lender can give you a more precise estimate of when the loan can be disbursed. They can also advise you on how potential bottlenecks can be removed so that the process can be completed faster.