JEFF OSTROWSKI and BILL McGUIRE Bankrate.com
According to a new Bankrate survey, many U.S. homeowners are missing out on an excellent opportunity to lower their interest rates and lower their monthly payments by refinancing their loans.
While the smartest homeowners have already refinanced — and some have done so twice — millions of people are yet to take advantage of mortgage rates that once seemed unimaginably low. Of the homeowners with mortgages they’ve had since before the pandemic, 74% have not refinanced, according to the survey.
“The vast majority of mortgage borrowers have not yet refinanced, despite historically low interest rates over the past year,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. “Reducing the monthly mortgage payment by $150 or $250, possibly more, can create valuable breathing space in the household budget at a time when so many other costs are on the rise.”
The most common reasons
Among homeowners who have not refinanced, the most common reason cited was that they would not save enough money to justify a refinancing. This choice was mentioned by 32% of the respondents.
“You might want to rethink that,” McBride says. “Today’s rates are at levels not seen before last year.”
To illustrate an example, if you have a 30-year loan for $300,000 at 4%, your monthly payment is $1,432. Refinancing to 3% would lower it to $1,265, a savings of $167 per month or $2,004 per year. You can use Bankrate’s refinancing calculator to see if refinancing will save you money.