How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage often lowers your interest rate and the total amount you pay for your home.

Refinancing your mortgage often lowers your interest rate and the total amount you pay for your home.

When interest rates plummet, many young homeowners consider refinancing their mortgage to get in on the savings. Making the decision to refinance depends on your personal finances, equity and credit report. It's impossible to say for sure how long your refinance process will take. Refinancing depends on many variables unique to your situation. As a rule of thumb, expect the entire process to take between four to six weeks from start to finish.

The Application

Just like the first go-around, the refinance process begins with an application. You input all your information and attach your W-2s, identification and creditor information. Make sure to supply all the information with your original application to speed up the process. When the mortgage company has to ask for additional information, this can cause delays. The mortgage company sends your application to the underwriters for approval or denial.

Underwriting Process

The underwriter pulls your credit reports and scores. They crunch the numbers to determine whether your income and credit merit a refinance. The underwriter may request additional information, which could delay the entire refinance process. Additional documentation may include additional bank statements or verification of employment.

Appraisals

In some cases, the bank may request an appraisal on the home to determine the value. Not all refinances require an appraisal, but an appraisal may lengthen the refinance process. In an appraisal, you hire a professional to inspect your home and assign a value to the property. This could benefit you as the homeowner if the appraisal raises the value of the home, giving you more equity than you expected.

Closing

Once your refinance is approved, the bank presents their mortgage refinance offer. You meet with your lender to go over the paperwork, pay any closing costs and sign your new mortgage contract. Make sure you understand everything you are signing to avoid any surprises.

About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

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