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Mortgage Refinance Checklist

06/08/2020 - Financial Planners

A cozy house, covered in greenery with white lattice on the windows.

Thinking about refinancing your home? You’re not alone. Refinancing a mortgage has many benefits and depending on your financial goals it may be the right move for you. Taking this step could result in a lower interest rate on your loan, a new loan structure or even the opportunity to borrow a portion of equity.

Refinancing can also eliminate private mortgage insurance, which can lower your monthly expenses. But the mortgage refinance process can be confusing and overwhelming. So, we’ve put together this mortgage refinance checklist with everything you need from start to finish.

Getting Started with the Refinance Process

The first step in the mortgage refinance process is to determine your main reason for refinancing. Do you want to lock in a new, low interest rate? What about cashing out equity in your home to pay for college tuition? Whatever your goal is at the end of this process, keep it in mind as we talk you through the steps to refinance a mortgage.

You’ve probably already started to review the terms and loan structures of available refinancing options. Talk to your loan officer about new interest rates and payment structures, too. You’ll want to understand how much you are restructuring and how that impacts repayment before finalizing the home refinance process.

You’ll also want to be prepared for any costs associated with the refinance process. Just like when you purchased your home, you’re entering into a new home loan. That means planning for bank fees, attorney fees and title insurance. Your lender will likely order a refinance appraisal, so you’ll want to keep that cost in mind. If you have enough equity in your home, these fees can sometimes be rolled into the loan amount. It’s important to make sure that the costs of refinancing don’t outweigh the benefits.

Now that you have your goal in mind and have reached out to a loan officer about your refinancing options, let’s dive into the document checklist and steps to refinance a mortgage.

Check off All Documentation for a Home Refinance Process

This mortgage refinance checklist will help you compile all the documentation to start the refinance process. In addition to the basics for identity verification, you’ll also need everything on this list to verify your income, expenses, assets and debts:

  • Pay Stubs: These will allow the bank to verify your steady income along with anyone else, like a spouse, who may be listed as a co-borrower.
  • Tax Documents: Compile all federal tax returns and estimates of annual property taxes for the past two years. If you’re a business owner, you’ll need two years of business tax returns on file, a profit and loss statement and a list of all business debts. Your tax history is important because it not only verifies your salary, but also shows your earning trends over the years.
  • Current Debt: You will have a formal credit check when you make your way through the home refinance process, but it’s always a good idea to catalog your current debts. That includes your current mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit card debt and even a current home equity line of credit. It’s also a good idea to avoid any other hard inquiries to your credit during the refinancing process.
  • Credit History: It’s a good idea to have a copy of your credit history documented, too. Make sure you have explanations for any late payments, collections or judgements in your file. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past, have your discharge papers on hand.
  • Assets: You’ll want to include two months’ worth of asset statements. That means all of the values you have in the bank, money invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Include your retirement savings and any other assets.
  • Home Appraisal: As part of your loan process, the lender will order an appraisal from an independent appraiser to determine the value of your home, which is part of the overall cost discussed with your lender.
  • Homeowners Insurance: Make sure to have a copy of your homeowners’ insurance policy to show you have sufficient coverage on your house.
  • Title Insurance: You’ve already purchased a home, so you should have this on file. But, a copy of this policy will allow your lender to verify your taxes, the names on the title and a legal description of the property you’re looking to refinance.

The Final Steps to Refinance a Mortgage

Once you’ve compiled all documentation it’s time to make a formal application with your trusted lender, who will walk you through the process from application to closing. Make sure you choose a trusted partner that will make this process easy and seamless.

When you choose to refinance with WesBanco, you’ll have access to competitive rates, flexible loan options, and an expert to guide you through the entire process. So now that you have all your documentation, begin the process today by completing an online application.

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Learn More about WesBanco’s Refinancing Options:

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Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

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