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Making the Most of Your Refinance

California Mortgage Advisors, Inc. understands you may have many reasons to refinance. The number one reason for most borrowers is to save money and potentially pay off their home more quickly. Our Mortgage Advisors are here to guide you through the refinance process and make the experience a pleasant one. Here are five tips to help you get the best results and most out of your mortgage refinance.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Process
Refinancing is similar to a purchase loan however it involves fewer parties and a lot less stress. In a refinance, there are really only four parties involved; a borrower, a lender, a title company and an appraiser. Refinancing is really an easy and simple stress free process. Depending on how fast the borrower can pull together the paperwork, a refinance can close in as little as a couple of weeks.

2. The Paperwork
The documentation required for financing varies depending on the complexity of your financial situation. Below is a needs list for a borrower who is an employee of a company and has no other investments like partnerships or real estate.

If you have these documents handy, you can complete the loan application in as little as 20 minutes.

  • Loan Application (Click here)
  • Last 2 years filed 1040’s
    – If on extension for previous year also include copy of the IRS Form 4868
  • Last 2 Years W-2’s and W-2’s for prior 1040’s provided
  • Pay stubs cover last 30 days
  • 2 month’s bank, brokerage and 401K statements (all pages of statements)
  • Photo of drivers license(s) (best to take picture with your smartphone)
  • Property Tax Bill for Subject Property
  • Insurance Declaration Page for Subject Property
  • Trust Agreement if title is held in a Trust

If you are self-employed, own other real estate or retired, click here to see our complete Mortgage Checklist.

3. Credit Score – FICO
Know your credit score and monitor your score at least once a year. Check available resources to know your credit score in the beginning to avoid surprises down the road. www.annualcreditreport.com is a free resource – you are entitled to get a free credit report from each of the three main bureaus once a year! The FICO score is very important component of qualifying for many loan programs and is also a key factor in determining the interest rate. A high FICO score will get you a lower interest rate and/or lower fees than a low FICO score.

4. Goals of Refinancing

There are many reasons to refinance and the most common reason is to lower your interest rate and save money on your mortgage. If this is your goal, click here to sign-up for CMA’s Refinance Rate Alert and we will notify you when rates drop and you can save money on your mortgage. Maybe you are looking to refinance from an ARM into a 30 year fixed, or maybe you know you will sell your home in the next 5 years and you want to lower your rate and payments by refinancing into an ARM. Maybe you need to take cash out to pay for college tuition or a home remodel. Whatever the reason, our Mortgage Advisors are here to assist you and help you achieve your goals.

5. Locking Your Rate
Once you have discussed your goals with a CMA Mortgage Advisor and selected a loan program, the next step is to lock in an interest rate. The lock periods vary between 15 days and 90 days on most programs. Shorter lock periods will offer lower cost than longer lock periods. Once you lock in your interest rate, CMA will honor the rate lock for the period of days locked. Once the loan is locked, time is of the essence to get the loan fully approved, loan documents out for signature and ultimately funding and closing your refinance before the lock expires.

Understanding the refinance process up front is critical to having a smooth transaction and a pleasant experience. At California Mortgage Advisors our seasoned and professional Mortgage Advisors are here to guide you through the process.

Our Mortgage Advisors are available at (800) 927-6560 to answer your questions or click here to start the application process.