It’s that time of year again with the holiday’s right around the corner. Many homeowners take pride in being able to decorate their homes to celebrate the seasons. It’s one of the best parts of homeownership. Often times making it well worth the headaches and financial burdens that also come along with homeownership. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and so it can be unfathomable when we are unable to keep up with the responsibilities of taking care of a home due to hardships beyond our control. The economy over the last several years has forced many homeowners to make tough decisions that have jeopardized what we once felt very secure in and cut back on things like holiday spending. Refinancing to a lower payment can help to ease the financial strain caused by this tough economy and make the season more enjoyable.
Interest rates have dropped to possibly the lowest we will ever see in our lifetime, which is a huge benefit for homeowners needing to reduce their mortgage payments due to hardships from job losses or lower incomes. A refinance to today’s current mortgage rates could shave hundreds off from a home owner’s mortgage payment. For a lot of homeowners the reduction of their mortgage payment could potentially be the difference of not facing the possibility of foreclosure.
If you have not refinanced within the past year, now is the time to do so. The first step is finding a mortgage broker if you don’t already have one. The next step is getting preapproved. You will need to provide some documentation and if your spouse will be on the mortgage, you’ll need their documentation as well. Having this available when talking to a loan officer will help them get you preapproved quicker and easier. Remember that the more accurate the information you provide to them, the more accurate your quote will be. Here is a list of the basic information you will need to get started:
- Monthly income (gross income before taxes)
- Account balance (in case you need to bring money to the closing)
- Employment information
- Your current interest rate and mortgage payment (easily found on your current mortgage statement)
- Annual taxes and homeowners insurance premiums (this may be included in your mortgage payment)
Once you have established a preapproval by the loan officer, they will send you an application to be signed and sent back along with some other documentation. Those documents, depending on the loan program, could include:
- Most current paystubs
- Previous 2 years W2’s statements
- Copy of your homeowner policy
- Copy of your mortgage statement
- Most current 2 months bank statements
- Copy of tax returns (only if self-employed)
You’ll want to send everything back as quickly as you can so the loan officer can get your file submitted to the underwriting. The process from submission to closing can take anywhere from two to six weeks depending on the lenders turn times and the borrowers timeliness on getting necessary documents back to them. If you get started now, you may be able to skip one or two mortgage payments for the holidays and free up extra cash so you can relax and focus on spending time with your family.
Whether you are facing a hardship or just looking to free up some cash for the holiday season, taking advantage of the interest rates and programs available to homeowners during these tough economic times is a very good idea. Submit a request below for more information on how to lower your payments and interest rate.