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Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

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by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

If you want to lower your mortgage rate, adjust the term of your mortgage or cash in on the equity you’ve built up over the years, you might consider refinancing your home loan. Our research team vetted 26 refinance lenders that are rated by more than 16,000 customers. Read our guide to choose the best refinancing companies by comparing programs, rates, availability and overall satisfaction ratings.

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Current conventional national mortgage and refinance rates

Rates are effective 10/22/2021 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

ProductAPR
3.419%0.04%Get Rates

The APR shown of 3.419% is available for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

2.993%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 2.993% is available for a 20-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

2.814%0.08%Get Rates

The APR shown of 2.814% is available for a 30-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

2.368%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 2.368% is available for a 10-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

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Our 9 top mortgage refinance companies

Below, we go over our top picks for refinancing your mortgage in 2021. Plus, we review what to know about how to find the best mortgage refinance lender for you. Read our methodology to understand how we selected companies for our top picks.

Our pick for easy processRocket MortgageAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinancing options: Cash-out, rate-and-term
  • Minimum credit score: 580 to 620
  • Availability: Nationwide

Rocket Mortgage offers refinancing for conventional loans as well as government mortgages, including FHA and VA mortgage loans.

Positive Rocket Mortgage reviews about refinancing consistently praise the easy online experience, from the application process to closing day. It appears that agents are prompt with communication and take the time to answer all their clients’ questions. Rocket Mortgage also has a high customer satisfaction score with J.D. Power.

Recently refinanced using Rocket Mortgage, process was fast and pain free and almost completely online. The portal was super useful and the chat representatives were knowledge-full and efficient.”

Reviewer in New Jersey, June 2021
Our pick for online lendingBetter MortgageAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate terms
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Availability: Most states

Better Mortgage offers mortgage loans and refinancing loans. It has several refinancing products, including conventional loans with a 3% down payment and a jumbo mortgage loan program with a 10% down payment and no mortgage insurance.

Recent reviews report that the Better process is simple and smooth. “I went with Better Mortgage because of their ability to pay down points. I liked the programs that they had matched to what I was looking for,” a recent reviewer in Maryland said.

Better also helps connect homeowners with insurance companies for title insurance and homeowners insurance policies. The mortgage lender is available in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Very happy with the speed and ease of this refinance. No hidden fees. Everything ended as it started with on the estimate. Everything was online, on my schedule until the final physical signing.”

Reviewer in California, June 2021
Our pick for fast and accurate quotesAmeriSave MortgageAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Rate-and-term, cash-out
  • Minimum credit score: 600 to 620
  • Availability: 49 states (not NY)

AmeriSave had more than 1,000 verified reviews on our site in the last year, and about half mention refinancing in some way. As of publishing, the majority of reviews about refinancing have 5 stars.

Positive AmeriSave reviews about refinancing frequently highlight the company’s easy online application process and low interest rates. You can refinance Fannie Mae, FHA, VA and USDA loans.

They offered me a competitive rate and the process to go through the refi was very smooth. It was a fairly simple process to do.”

Reviewer in Georgia, June 2021
Our pick for competitive ratesFirst Internet BankAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Cash-out, rate-and-term, home equity loans and lines of credit
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Availability: Nationwide

First Internet Bank is a fully online bank that offers several banking products, including home refinancing loans.

At First Internet Bank, you can get conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans. Both fixed- and variable-rate options are available. Regardless of the loan you choose, you can get either a cash-out or rate-and-term refinance through First Internet Bank.

All phases of our mortgage refinance went smoothly. All our questions were answered promptly and there was no hint of **. This is so refreshing in today's business world.”

Reviewer in Montana, April 2021
Our pick for low feesNetwork Capital Funding CorporationAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Cash-out, rate-and-term
  • Minimum credit score: Low- to mid-600s
  • Availability: Some states

With Network Capital Funding, you can refinance conventional loans, FHA loans and VA loans. The mortgage company lets you lock in your interest rate, and it doesn’t charge lender fees.

Some of the happiest Network Capital Funding reviewers praise the whole loan refinancing process. Homeowners seem pleased with their new mortgage rates and appreciate that agents take the time to answer all their questions. Reviewers describe the process as quick and easy and say reps respond to inquiries in a timely manner.

They were able to save me quite a bit of money by eliminating some charges that I shouldn't have been paying for in the first place, and being straightforward with everything they did.”

Reviewer in Colorado, July 2021
Our pick for the mobile appMr. CooperAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Rate-and-term, cash-out
  • Minimum credit score: 580 to 620
  • Availability: 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Mr. Cooper is an online home lender that offers a variety of refinancing products. You can get fixed or variable interest rates for conventional loans, and VA, FHA and jumbo loans are also available.

Many of the happiest reviewers who refinanced with Mr. Cooper over the last year mentioned getting a lower interest rate or lower monthly payments. According to others, representatives are professional and the company is easy to work with. “The process went incredibly smooth like a well oiled machine,” according to a reviewer in Washington.

They kept us informed at every step of the process. Answered every question we had quickly and made us feel like we were the only people they were working with. The entire process took only one month from start to closing.”

Reviewer in Iowa, June 2021
Our pick for VA streamlineVeterans United
  • Refinance options: IRRRL, cash-out
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Availability: Nationwide

Veterans United is a home lender specializing in VA mortgages and refinancing loans for veterans and their families. Eligible borrowers can get a cash-out or rate-and-term refinancing loan with term lengths of 15 or 30 years and either fixed rates or 5/1 variable rates.

Positive Veterans United reviews praise the company for its competitive loan rates and dedicated loan specialists. The loan team is available to help and answer questions every step of the way. According to one reviewer who refinanced a VA loan, the process is quick, easy and stress-free.

... I had a personal emergency in regards to my home and I emailed very late on a Friday expecting a response on Monday. He returned my email before the next morning and delivered exactly what I needed. This shows that he really cares about his customers.”

Reviewer in Georgia, July 2021
Our pick for quick pre-qualificationsClearPath LendingAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Refinance options: Rate-and-term, cash-out
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Availability: Some states

ClearPath Lending is a California-based home lending company that offers a wide variety of refinancing loans for VA, FHA and conventional mortgages.

You can get a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage refinance loan with ClearPath Lending. Additionally, you can select between 10-year, 15-year and 30-year term lengths for your new loan.

Most refinancing customers describe an overall good experience with ClearPath Lending. According to positive reviews, the application process is easy, and loan agents are happy to answer all their clients’ questions. The whole process takes around a month.

Everything that he said turned about and happened just as he said it would. I've refinanced a lot of loans and you'd be surprised at how much honesty there isn't out there.”

Reviewer in Idaho, June 2021
Our pick for customer serviceNorth American Savings Bank
  • Refinance options: Rate-and-term, cash-out, VA IRRRL
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Availability: Most states

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, North American Savings Bank offers a full suite of banking and lending products, including mortgage refinancing loans.

The bank is also a VA-approved lender, meaning it can refinance VA loans. You can complete your application online, and someone at North American Savings Bank will contact you.

Positive NASB refinancing reviews consistently mention helpful loan officers who facilitate a smooth process. Reps seem dedicated and easy to get hold of. Even the reviewers who encountered bumps along the way still recommend the company for handling their situations with professionalism.

They kept me informed every step of the way and the transaction was smooth and easy. Recommend NASB to EVERYONE I know... And if you decide to jump on this refi wave...ask for Jeff ** as your loan officer!!”

Reviewer in Texas, November 2020

What to know about refinancing a mortgage

There are two main types of refinancing: rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing.

Generally, it’s good if you can lower your current rate by 1% or 2%.

Rate-and-term refinancing involves replacing your existing mortgage with a new one that has a lower rate, a different term or both. Some reasons to get a rate-and-term refinancing loan include:

Cash-out refinancing involves replacing your existing mortgage with a new mortgage that has a higher principal balance and taking the difference in cash. You pay off your old mortgage with the new loan, and any excess is yours to use for any purpose. People obtain cash-out refinances to perform home improvements, consolidate debt, pay for school and carry out investment goals.

Cash-out refinancing loans may or may not come with a lower interest rate, but this is secondary to the main benefit of converting some of your equity into cash.

The application process for a mortgage refinance is similar to that of your original mortgage. You’ll need proof of income, employment and assets. Additionally, you’ll need to provide homeowners insurance information and your HOA representative’s name and contact information (if applicable). Streamlined refinancing programs, which require less documentation, are available for FHA, VA and USDA loans.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to refinance a house?
On average, it takes most people between 30 and 45 days to refinance a house. However, there can be unexpected delays related to inspections, appraisals and other parts of the process. It’s not uncommon for it to take up to two months or longer in some situations.

These days, refinancing is easier than ever — you can practically do it all online if you want. You can help speed up the process by having all your documents in order and in one place. Many reports against refinance lenders describe situations where paperwork was lost or information wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

When should I refinance my mortgage?
Refinancing makes the most sense when you want to pay your home loan off quicker, when you have enough equity built up to refinance without mortgage insurance or when you need access to funds. Usually, it makes more sense to refinance when you plan to stay in the house for a while. It also depends on how soon you can refinance a mortgage.
How much does it cost to refinance a mortgage?
The cost to refinance a mortgage depends on several factors, including the size of the loan, your location, your financial history and your existing home equity. Generally, it costs between 2% and 6% of the total loan balance. For example, for a $150,000 mortgage refinance, expect to pay between $3,000 and $9,000 at closing. You can pay closing costs out of pocket or roll them into the loan.

Many of the fees associated with refinancing will sound familiar from your first home loan, such as closing costs. The following fees are standard among most refinance lenders:

  • Application fee: Up to $500
  • Origination fee: Up to 1.5% of loan principal
  • Inspection fee: Up to $350
  • Property appraisal fee: Up to $700
  • Flood certification fee: Varies
  • Title search and insurance fee: Up to $1,000
  • Local recording fee: Up to $250
  • Reconveyance fee: Up to $65
  • Survey fee: Up to $400
What do I need to refinance my house?
Specific refinancing requirements vary depending on the loan type (conventional, VA, FHA, etc.) and the lender through which you obtain it. That said, here are a few basic requirements to expect:
  • Time requirements: Many lenders make you wait a specified time period before you can refinance.
  • Equity and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: Equity is how much of the home you own. The LTV ratio shows how much you owe on the mortgage compared with your home’s value. For many lenders, 5% equity is a bare minimum, but 20% equity is a good benchmark for avoiding higher fees, more interest and private mortgage insurance.
  • Credit score: Conventional lenders generally want to see a credit score of at least 620. Government loans, like those from the VA, may have lower score requirements. If you worry about how your credit score negatively affects your financial opportunities, you might consider working with a credit repair company.
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): DTI measures your total monthly debt payments relative to your monthly income. Most lenders won’t offer refinancing loans if you have a DTI above 43%.
Should I refinance with my current mortgage company?
You could refinance with your current mortgage lender, but you don’t have to. Your existing lender might reduce or waive some of the fees associated with refinancing. This is a common strategy to keep business. Still, it makes sense to shop around. According to the Federal Reserve Board, a difference of even half a percentage point in your interest rate can add up to thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a home loan.

Refinancing with your first mortgage lender can sometimes be easier. For instance, the company already has much of your information on file. At the same time, switching your mortgage over to another financial institution could be worth the hassle if it saves you money in the long term.

Pros and cons of refinancing

Depending on your financial goals, the biggest advantages to refinancing your mortgage are either cutting your monthly payment or converting some of your equity into cash. The former saves you money, while the latter gives you access to funds you can spend or invest.

The main downsides of refinancing are that you have to pay closing costs and reduce your home equity (in a cash-out refinance). If you are refinancing to a shorter term, your monthly payment will likely be higher.

Pros

  • Reduce interest rate and get better terms
  • Switch to a fixed-rate product to lock in a low rate
  • Have a lower monthly payment
  • Convert some equity to cash with a cash-out refinance

Cons

  • Closing costs can get expensive
  • Cash-out refinance reduces your home equity
  • Hard inquiry shows up on credit report and damages score slightly
  • Monthly payment is higher if you’re refinancing to a shorter term

Tips for choosing a refinance lender

Like any big financial decision, refinancing a mortgage can seem like a complicated process. Refinancing is popular because it’s so versatile — you can use it to get cash out, lower payments, consolidate debt, remove private mortgage insurance and more. Let your financial goal inform where you start looking for a lender. Keep in mind, too, that a mortgage broker can help you compare lenders if you want to save time.

Here are some tips for choosing the right refinance lender:

  1. Shop around and compare: Just like when you first bought your home, it’s smart to shop around for the best refinance rate. Generally, it’s good if you can lower your current rate by 1% or 2%. It all really comes down to what your “break-even” point is, or how long it takes to make up your refinancing costs before you start to benefit from the lower rate.
  2. Look beyond rates: Of course you want a low rate, but that’s not the only thing to consider. Don’t forget about customer service and closing costs. Often, it’s to your advantage to accept a slightly higher rate if you can save on closing costs. For more, read about how refinancing a mortgage works.
  3. Negotiate lender fees: Know when to lock a rate in. You can pit lenders against each other, stirring up some healthy competition that will likely work to your advantage.
  4. Read reviews: Reading verified reviews is a good way to get a sense of homeowners’ experiences with a refinance lender. Keep an eye out for red flags — avoid companies if you notice a pattern of feedback regarding poor customer service or high-pressure tactics.
  5. Always read the fine print: Before you sign anything, it’s crucial that you thoroughly read your loan agreement, paying attention to the loan amount, loan term, interest rate, taxes, insurance and other costs and fees. Homeowners who are happiest with their refinance terms have a good understanding of what they are getting from their lender.

Bottom line

There are different ways to refinance a mortgage. Most commonly, people refinance a home loan to get a better rate and term. You can also refinance a house to cash in on some of the equity you’ve built up over time.

Before you take out a new home loan, make sure to consider your personal circumstances and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing. Shop around at various lenders to find the company that offers the best combination of favorable terms and customer service.

Methodology

We started with a list of 30 mortgage lenders that specialize in refinancing. To narrow it down, we first eliminated companies with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars.

To select our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team then analyzed recent verified review data published on our site over the last 12 months (June 12, 2020, through June 12, 2021). We required all of our picks to have a minimum 2:1 ratio of 5-star reviews to 1-star reviews over this time period.

We also considered the availability and overall online experience when selecting our top lenders.

Guide sources

Guide sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.

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    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.

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