Mortgage Refinancing – What Not to Do Before Refinancing Your Mortgage
Explanation of mortgage refinancing
Mortgage refinancing is the process of taking out a new mortgage to replace the existing one, typically to get a better interest rate, lower monthly payments, or access the equity in the property. Refinancing can be a smart financial move for homeowners in Canada who want to reduce their monthly expenses or consolidate their debt. However, refinancing is not always the best option, and there are certain actions that homeowners should avoid before refinancing their mortgage.
Importance of avoiding certain actions before refinancing
Before refinancing, homeowners should avoid certain actions that could negatively affect their credit score, debt-to-income ratio, or overall financial health. These actions could include taking on new debt, making major purchases, changing jobs or income sources, closing credit accounts, or ignoring the home’s appraised value. These actions can make it harder for homeowners to qualify for a new mortgage or get a good interest rate.
Taking on new debt, for example, can increase the homeowner’s debt-to-income ratio and make it harder to get approved for a new mortgage. Making major purchases can also increase the homeowner’s debt-to-income ratio, as well as reduce their available cash for a down payment or closing costs. Changing jobs or income sources can make it harder for lenders to evaluate the homeowner’s income stability and reduce their eligibility for a new mortgage. Closing credit accounts can negatively impact the homeowner’s credit score, which can affect their interest rate and overall loan terms. Ignoring the home’s appraised value can result in the homeowner getting a lower appraisal, which can reduce their eligibility for a new mortgage or affect their interest rate.
Not Checking Your Credit Score
When it comes to refinancing a mortgage, not checking your credit score can be a costly mistake. Your credit score is one of the most important factors that lenders consider when evaluating your eligibility for a new mortgage. A low credit score can result in higher interest rates, less favourable loan terms, or even rejection of your refinancing application.
How credit score affects refinancing
Your credit score is a reflection of your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to repay your debts on time. Lenders use credit scores to assess the risk of lending you money and to determine the interest rate and loan terms they offer you. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate, and the more favourable your loan terms will be. This is because a high credit score indicates that you are a low-risk borrower who is likely to make timely payments.
If you have a low credit score, you may be offered a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments and increased overall costs. Additionally, a low credit score can reduce your eligibility for certain loan programs or limit your borrowing amount. Therefore, it is important to check your credit score before refinancing your mortgage to ensure that you are in a good position to secure a favourable loan.
Importance of reviewing credit reports before refinancing
Reviewing your credit report before refinancing your mortgage is important because it allows you to identify and address any errors or negative items that may be hurting your credit score. Your credit report contains information about your credit history, such as your payment history, credit utilization, and outstanding debts. Errors or negative items, such as missed payments, collections, or bankruptcies, can significantly impact your credit score and your ability to get approved for a new mortgage.
By reviewing your credit report, you can dispute any errors or inaccuracies and take steps to improve your credit score. For example, you may be able to pay off outstanding debts, reduce your credit utilization, or establish a better payment history by making timely payments.
Tips for improving credit score
Improving your credit score can take time and effort, but it can pay off in the long run by increasing your eligibility for a new mortgage and securing more favourable loan terms. Some tips for improving your credit score include:
- Paying your bills on time and in full
- Reducing your credit utilization to below 30% of your credit limit
- Avoiding opening new credit accounts or taking on new debt
- Checking your credit report regularly and disputing any errors
- Keeping old credit accounts open to maintain a long credit history
Taking on New Debt
Taking on new debt before refinancing your mortgage can have a significant impact on your eligibility for a new loan. When evaluating your refinancing application, lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which is the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying off debt. If you have taken on new debt, your DTI will increase, which can make it more difficult to qualify for a new mortgage or result in less favourable loan terms.
Impact of new debt on refinancing eligibility
When you take on new debt, such as a car loan, personal loan, or credit card balance, it increases your monthly debt obligations. This means that you will have less money available to put toward your mortgage payments, which can increase your DTI. A high DTI can make it more difficult to qualify for a new mortgage, as lenders typically prefer borrowers with a lower DTI. Additionally, a high DTI may result in higher interest rates or less favourable loan terms, as it indicates a higher risk of default.
Types of debt to avoid
Not all types of debt have the same impact on your refinancing eligibility. Some types of debt are more concerning to lenders than others. For example, unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, is generally seen as riskier than secured debt, such as a car loan or mortgage. Therefore, it is important to avoid taking on new unsecured debt before refinancing your mortgage.
Strategies for managing existing debt
If you have existing debt, there are several strategies you can use to manage it and improve your eligibility for refinancing. One strategy is to pay off high-interest debt first, such as credit card debt. By reducing your monthly debt obligations, you can improve your DTI and increase your chances of qualifying for a new mortgage.
Another strategy is to consolidate your debt into a single loan with a lower interest rate, such as a personal loan or a home equity loan. This can reduce your monthly debt obligations and make it easier to manage your debt.
It is also important to make timely payments on your existing debt to avoid late fees and penalties, which can increase your overall debt obligations and hurt your credit score. If you are struggling to make payments, consider reaching out to your lenders to discuss payment plans or other options.
Making Major Purchases
Making major purchases before refinancing your mortgage can impact your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and affect your ability to qualify for a new loan. Lenders consider your DTI when evaluating your refinancing application, and making large purchases can increase your monthly debt obligations, which in turn can increase your DTI.
How major purchases affect the debt-to-income ratio
Major purchases, such as a car or a vacation property, can increase your monthly debt obligations and impact your DTI. This can make it more difficult to qualify for a new mortgage or result in less favourable loan terms. For example, if you purchase a car on credit before refinancing your mortgage, the car loan payments will increase your monthly debt obligations, and your DTI will go up. This can result in a higher interest rate or less favourable loan terms, as lenders may see you as a higher-risk borrower.
Examples of major purchases to avoid
When preparing to refinance your mortgage, it is important to avoid making major purchases that can impact your DTI. Some examples of major purchases to avoid include:
- Purchasing a new car on credit
- Making a large down payment on a new property
- Buying expensive furniture or appliances on credit
- Taking out a personal loan for a major expense
- Financing a large vacation or travel expenses
Timing considerations for major purchases
If you need to make a major purchase, it is important to consider the timing of the purchase before refinancing your mortgage. Ideally, you should wait until after you have secured your new mortgage before making any major purchases that can impact your DTI. This can help you avoid any issues with the loan approval or less favourable loan terms.
If you cannot wait to make a major purchase, consider delaying refinancing until you have paid off the purchase or made significant progress in paying it down. This can help you maintain a lower DTI and increase your eligibility for refinancing.
Changing Jobs or Income Sources
Changing jobs or income sources before refinancing your mortgage can impact your eligibility for a new loan. Lenders evaluate your income and employment history when considering your refinancing application. Changing jobs or income sources can cause uncertainty about your ability to continue making mortgage payments, which can make lenders view you as a higher-risk borrower.
How job changes can affect refinancing eligibility
Lenders consider your income stability and employment history when evaluating your refinancing application. A change in job or income source can cause lenders to view you as a higher-risk borrower, as it can raise questions about your ability to continue making mortgage payments. If you have a new job or income source that is unstable or inconsistent, it can negatively impact your eligibility for a new loan.
Types of job changes to avoid before refinancing
It is important to avoid certain types of job changes before refinancing your mortgage, as they can impact your eligibility for a new loan. Some examples of job changes to avoid include:
- Starting a new job with a lower income or commission-based income
- Switching to a job with a less stable income source, such as freelancing or self-employment
- Taking a job with a probationary period, as lenders may view this as a higher-risk employment situation
Importance of stable income for refinancing
Having a stable income is important when refinancing your mortgage, as it demonstrates your ability to make consistent payments. Lenders want to see a history of stable employment and income when evaluating your refinancing application. A stable income can also help you qualify for a new loan with more favourable terms and interest rates.
Closing Credit Accounts
Closing credit accounts before refinancing your mortgage can have a negative impact on your credit score and affect your eligibility for a new loan. Lenders use your credit score as a measure of your creditworthiness and the likelihood of you making timely payments on your loan. Your credit score is determined by several factors, including your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you are using compared to the amount of credit you have available.
How closing credit accounts affects credit score
When you close a credit account, you decrease the amount of credit available to you, which can increase your credit utilization ratio. This can negatively impact your credit score, as high credit utilization ratios can indicate that you are using a large percentage of your available credit and may be at a higher risk of defaulting on your loans.
Importance of maintaining credit accounts before refinancing
Maintaining your credit accounts and a healthy credit score is crucial when refinancing your mortgage. A good credit score can help you qualify for better loan terms, such as a lower interest rate, which can save you money over the life of your loan. It can also increase your chances of being approved for a new loan.
Strategies for improving credit utilization
To maintain a healthy credit score, it is important to keep your credit utilization ratio low. This can be done by using your credit cards responsibly and paying your balances in full each month. If you have high credit card balances, consider paying them down before refinancing your mortgage. This can help lower your credit utilization ratio and improve your credit score.
If you are concerned about closing credit accounts, consider keeping them open but using them sparingly. This can help maintain your available credit and keep your credit utilization ratio low.
How a Mortgage Broker Can Help with Mortgage Refinancing
When refinancing your mortgage, working with a mortgage broker can be beneficial. A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders and helps borrowers find the best mortgage products for their needs. Here are some ways in which a mortgage broker can help with mortgage refinancing:
Explanation of the role of a mortgage broker
A mortgage broker works with several lenders and has access to a wide range of mortgage products. They help borrowers find the best mortgage product for their needs by evaluating their financial situation and comparing different loan options. Mortgage brokers can help borrowers with the application process, gathering the necessary documentation, and understanding the terms and conditions of their mortgage.
Benefits of working with a mortgage broker for refinancing
- Access to a wide range of mortgage products: Mortgage brokers work with several lenders and have access to a wide range of mortgage products. This means they can help borrowers find a loan that best meets their needs, whether it be a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage.
- Save time and effort: Refinancing a mortgage can be a complex and time-consuming process. By working with a mortgage broker, borrowers can save time and effort by having the broker handle the paperwork and communication with lenders.
- Expert advice: Mortgage brokers are knowledgeable about the mortgage industry and can provide expert advice to borrowers. They can help borrowers understand the terms and conditions of their mortgage, as well as provide guidance on the best course of action for their individual situation.
- Better loan terms: Mortgage brokers can negotiate with lenders on behalf of borrowers to obtain better loan terms. This includes a lower interest rate, lower closing costs, and more favourable repayment terms.
- No cost to the borrower: In most cases, mortgage brokers are paid by the lender, which means there is no cost to the borrower for their services.
For more information on refinancing Your Mortgage call 416-912-6200