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Refinancing your mortgage can be easier than you think

A personal account from a ConsumerAffairs employee

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Photo (c) Getty Images - Indysystem

If you're like me, emails, advertisements, direct mail and social media posts that refer to terms like interest, finance, mortgage and rates tend to go right over your head. And if you're not like me, all the better! I'm talking, of course, about mortgage refinance.

I feel I'm a reasonably smart person, but when it came to this one life event, I tuned all of it out because it sounded really complicated. Between having a full-time job, raising two young kids and a disobedient beagle, coaching a Little League team and other responsibilities, I simply didn't feel like I had the time or patience to think about something that sounded as daunting as mortgage refinance. Surely it'd be super complicated and time-consuming!

But putting it off for another day is a really bad idea — we are right now experiencing some of the lowest rates in history. It finally hit me while creating a mortgage-related email for ConsumerAffairs recently: There will probably never be a better time (like, ever) to refinance a mortgage.

I thought, "Yeah, OK, now is clearly a good time to refinance, but should we? What would it solve?" We could either save a lot of money on our monthly mortgage payments or take out some cash to fund some much-needed home improvements. It was the cheapest way we could borrow money.

So, here's what my wife and I did.

  1. We used ConsumerAffairs to find the right lender for our needs. Working here, I knew firsthand it would be a great place to start my search because we have real experts who've done the research and chosen great lenders. It really took the worry and stress out of the equation.
  2. The lender contacted us and we chatted for about 15 minutes.
  3. We reached an agreement and went into a local office here in Austin to sign some paperwork.
  4. We switched from a fixed-rate, 30-year loan to a fixed-rate, 15-year loan.
  5. We locked in a rate of 2.625% (we couldn't get nearly that good of a rate on a 30-year loan while taking out cash).
  6. We took out some cash to pay for some home improvements, including a kitchen remodel (and maybe more).

I'm not exaggerating when I say it was super easy.

If you're interested in refinancing and want more info, here are some great resources the experts at ConsumerAffairs have written on the topic:

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