As a notary, I have had the opportunity to work with many clients who are refinancing their homes. Refinancing can be a great way to save money on your monthly mortgage payments, but it’s important to understand what to expect during the process.
Here’s what you can expect with a refinance:
- Review your current mortgage: Before you start the refinance process, you should review your current mortgage to see what your interest rate, monthly payments, and other terms are. This will help you compare your current mortgage to any new offers you receive during the refinance process.
- Contact a mortgage lender: Once you’ve reviewed your current mortgage, you’ll want to contact a mortgage lender to discuss your options. The lender will ask for information about your income, employment, and credit history to determine what types of loans you may qualify for.
- Choose a new mortgage: After you’ve discussed your options with the lender, you’ll need to choose a new mortgage. This will involve reviewing and comparing different loan offers, including interest rates, terms, and fees.
- Be prepared to provide documentation: During the refinance process, you’ll need to provide documentation such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. Make sure you have these documents readily available to speed up the process.
- Understand the fees: Refinancing can involve fees such as appraisal fees, application fees, and closing costs. It’s important to understand what fees you’ll be responsible for and factor them into your decision to refinance.
- Schedule a closing: Once your new loan has been approved and a closing date set, you will need to schedule a time to meet with a notary. Frequently, the settlement agent will make these arrangements for you, but occasionally they ask the borrower to locate a mobile notary who is authorized to facilitate the closing of real estate transactions.
- Three days prior to closing your lender will send you a Closing Disclosure with your final loan terms for your approval. It will be necessary for you to sign and return these promptly.
- At the closing, you’ll sign the new loan documents, which will replace your old mortgage. Your notary will ask to see photo ID for each signer and will guide you through the loan documents providing a brief description of each document and obtaining all necessary signatures and initials. Keep in mind that your notary can only provide general information about the purpose of the documents and any specific questions must be directed to your loan officer or settlement agent. If you are required to provide any funds to close, they will be due at this time, and your settlement agent will have provided you with their accepted payment methods.
- Understand the timeline: Refinancing can take several weeks, so it’s important to understand the timeline and be patient throughout the process. Also, if you are refinancing your primary residence your lender is required to provide you with a three day right to cancel the transaction, which begins the day after you sign the documents.
If the time is right for you, refinancing can be a great way to save money on your monthly mortgage payments. However, it’s important to understand what to expect during the process. Working with an experienced and well-qualified loan officer as well as a professional notary signing agent can help ensure a smooth and successful refinance process.
Linda Benningfield is a professional mobile notary, loan signing agent, and apostille facilitator living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Linda is also an independent associate for LegalShield / ID Shield providing affordable protection plans to individuals, families, and businesses.
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