by Craig Romero, Mortgage Analyst, www.wisemortgageinfo.com
With so many homeowners refinancing lately, there are hundreds of refinancing questions being asked. One of the most common is “Should I refinance with my current lender?” The answer is both yes and no.
Your current lender should be the last lender that you obtain a quote from, but you should definitely contact them when you are thinking of refinancing. Get together quotes from other lenders, and then approach your current lender and ask them to meet, or even better, beat those quotes. You can also ask them to waive certain settlement costs and other fees involved since you are already an established customer and your lender may have customer retention programs, but you will need leverage before you do this. That leverage should come in the form of quotes from your lender’s competitors. In fact, your lender may opt to just decrease the interest rate you are currently paying, thereby allowing you to avoid settlement costs altogether.
However, there are drawbacks to using your current lender. Your lender already has your business, once you pay the lock-in fee, they have your money too. Since they already have your mortgage, they have no incentive to close the deal in a timely manner. There are also times when lenders will not quote you the best rate they have, but will quote you a rate that is lower than your current rate. For instance, if you’re at an eight-percent interest rate currently, your lender may offer you 6.5 percent because it’s significantly lower than your current rate. Normally, that would be great, but if rates are at 5.5 percent, your lender isn’t doing you any favors. That is why it is so important to be prepared with quotes from other lenders. It lets you know what rates are available to you, and lets your lender know that you’re not going into the situation blind.
A wise decision is to treat your current lender as you would any other lender. If they do not come in with the lowest rate or best service, take your business elsewhere. While it is nice to do business with a familiar face, you are not obligated to refinance with them, and if you can save money by going elsewhere, you should do so.
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