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Mortgage & Home

How To Refinance My Mortgage

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If you're looking to lower your monthly payments, shorten the term of your loan, or access cash for a big life expense like a home improvement project, refinancing your mortgage can be a good option.

However, refinancing your mortgage takes some work. But with the proper preparation, approach, and lending partner, refinancing your mortgage can help you achieve your financial goals and save money in the long run.

How do you go about refinancing your mortgage? Here's a step-by-step guide:

Determine your financial goals

The first step to refinancing your mortgage is to determine your financial goals. Do you want to pay off your loan faster, lower your monthly payments, or access equity in your home? Your answers will help you determine the type of refinance that is right for you. If you’re not sure, meeting with a mortgage specialist can help you determine the best route for your needs. SECU mortgage specialists are available daily in person at your local branch, by email at, or by calling (877) 589-1547.

Check your credit score

Before applying to refinance your mortgage, reviewing the state of your credit report is essential. Your credit score can significantly impact your eligibility for a loan and the interest rate for which you qualify. Our Five Proven Ways to Rebuild Credit resource details how to review your report and rebuild credit, if necessary. Understanding how lenders evaluate credit history and what steps may be needed to improve your credit may increase the likelihood of loan approval.

Find a lender and a rate that fits your goals

Not all mortgage lenders offer the same rates, so comparing offers is essential. Look for lenders who offer competitive rates and practical terms that fit your financial goals. Some critical factors to consider include:

  • The lender’s APR (Annual Percentage Rate): The APR is the measure of the cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. Looking for a lower APR can serve as a starting point for shopping for loans. Ensure you also consider total fees and possible rate adjustments if you are comparing adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs).
  • Lender’s history of lending products: Larger financial institutions often stop offering products like cash-out refinancing during times of market volatility, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. SECU has provided its members with refinancing options for over 50 years, no matter the state of the market.
  • How the loan is serviced: After closing, mortgage loan originators often sell these mortgage loans to another provider for servicing without your permission. This can cause a breakdown in communication since your loan originator is no longer the point of contact for any questions or issues. SECU has historically serviced all its mortgage loans within Credit Union operations.

Choose the right refinance option

There are various options for refinancing, including:

SECU mortgage specialists are available daily to help you choose your best refinance option.

Submit an application

Eligible members can complete an online application for a mortgage loan refinance with SECU in as little as 10 minutes. The application will ask you questions about your house and finances. One you've submitted your application, your request will be reviewed within 24 hours. Other options for members include meeting with a mortgage specialist at your local branch or calling (877) 589-1547.

Go through the refinancing underwriting process

Once you've applied to refinance your mortgage, it generally takes about 30 days from application to funding. During this time, you may be asked for additional documentation or information, including:

  • Income documentation,
  • Deposit account statements,
  • Homeowners insurance information,
  • And any preference for a closing agent.

If your original mortgage is through a non-SECU lender, you'll also be asked to supply a copy of your current mortgage statement.

Complete the closing process

The closing process typically involves signing a new loan agreement and paying closing costs. Before signing, ensure you understand the new loan terms and how much you'll save each month.

You will need to pay an origination fee to SECU based on your loan amount. The fee is 1% of the loan amount capped at $2,500. You will also pay SECU for an appraisal completed by a third party. The remainder of the charges, such as title insurance, attorney's fees, homeowners insurance, and property taxes, are paid to third parties. 

After completing these steps, you've refinanced your mortgage and are better positioned to reach your financial goals.