Qualifying for refinancing

Even if refinancing makes sense in your situation, you'll still need to qualify. Your ability to refinance depends on factors such as the amount of equity you have in your house, your income, and your credit.

If you qualify, it's important to get quotes from multiple lenders before you make a decision. Even small savings will add up over the years.

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Refinancing your home

When mortgage interest rates get low, refinancing isn't always the best choice.

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate.

The two big reasons to refinance are:

  • To reduce your monthly mortgage payment
  • To save on the overall interest you will pay on your house in the long run.

Refinancing does not always reduce the monthly payment or save on the overall interest.. A loan officer or mortgage broker can help you run scenarios that show you the cost and potential savings of refinancing.

Generally, it makes sense to refinance if you plan on staying in your home for many years.

If you plan to sell the property soon, don't refinance. Refinancing could take years to break even and begin saving you money.

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RELATED IDEAS

The snowball debt method

With this method, you pay off your debts from the smallest balance to the largest balance, regardless of interest rates.

When you pay the smallest debts first, you start to clear your low debts away very quickly. Doing this feels empowering. Once you've paid off a debt, you will have more money to send as an additional payment to the next debt you are focused on (hence the snowball analogy.)

Regular monthly bills

The bulk of your budget is made up of necessities like rent, phone and internet bills, insurance, etc. If you can lower your monthly expenses, you can save a lot for unplanned events.

  • Find a cheaper place to live.
  • Get a cheaper phone plan
  • Find a better insurance company
  • Grocery show once a week, so you don't waste food.
How much you should save every month

The popular 50/30/20 rule states that you should reserve 50 percent of your budget for essentials like rent and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for savings.

But it's not that simple. If you're a high earner, you'd be wise to save a larger percentage of your income. If 20 percent is impossible for you to save, then saving something is better than saving nothing.

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