refinance

How to use a refinance calculator

With continued low interest rates and an economy that's gradually picking up, it might be time to consider refinancing your mortgage. The Bankrate.com refinance calculator can help you determine if it's worth your while.

Typical reasons for refinancing including lowering your monthly mortgage payment or shortening the length of your loan.

The Bankrate.com refinance calculator will walk you through a step-by-step process to see exactly how much the cost will be and how much you can save if you decide to refinance.

Along with entering your current mortgage payment, interest rate, mortgage balance, and the number of years left on your loan, you will need to include the new interest rate and the number of years your new loan will last.

If you haven't been to a bank or mortgage broker yet, you can get an idea of the various refinance rates available in your city at Bankrate. There you can find basic information about loans, and there's also a link to each lender's site for more detail.

You can check rates for 15- and 30-year fixed-rate loans as well as adjustable-rate mortgages to help you determine which type of loan is best for your situation. The rates cited are for those with a credit score of 700 and above. Those with lower scores can expect to pay more.

Other costs to consider

The refinance calculator also looks at information such as points, fees and costs associated with the refinance, such as inspections and title insurance, to determine your savings.

It is important to consider how long you plan to remain in your home. In today's housing market it can be hard to sell at the price you desire. If you intend to stay put, that's another good reason to use a refinance calculator to review your options.

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