How often can you refinance a home loan?


Do you want to alter your mortgage repayment plan but don’t know how? Then it might be time to refinance. 

Refinancing is an effective way to lower your monthly mortgage payment, change the terms of your loan, or access home equity. While the benefit of refinancing is evident, there are many things to consider before taking out a new loan, from exit fees to the effect on your credit score. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you must consider before refinancing. 

Let’s get to the following commonly asked questions: 

  • What is refinancing?
  • How to decide if refinancing your home loan is the right decision?
  • How often can you refinance your home?
  • Does refinancing hurt your credit?
  • What to consider before refinancing your home

Q1. What is refinancing?

When you refinance your home loan, you replace your existing loan by taking out a new mortgage with different loan rates. This is typically done to obtain a lower interest rate, change your loan term, or access the equity in your home.

Refinancing your mortgage effectively pays off your current loan with a new, lower-interest-rate loan, helping you to make reduced monthly repayments. Your reason for refinancing is to pay off your home loan faster, which you can do by shortening the home loan terms

Refinancing your home loan allows you to access equity by taking out a cashout refinance. This type of loan allows you to borrow more than you currently owe and receive the difference as refinance cashback. 

Note: The lump sum can pay off your credit card, make home improvements, or be used for debt consolidation to improve your financial situation.

Q2. How to decide if refinancing your home loan is the right decision

Are you asking yourself, should I refinance my mortgage? If so, then you’ll need to consider your current financial situation and whether the benefits outweigh refinancing costs. 

It can cost thousands of dollars to refinance your mortgage, so it’s essential to check out comparison rates before taking the plunge. Here are some factors to consider whether deciding to refinance is the right decision for you:

  1. Interest rates: If mortgage rates have decreased since you took out your home loan, refinancing could save you money on your monthly mortgage repayments.
  1. Credit score: Your credit rating will significantly affect your new loan interest rate and terms. Before refinancing, review your credit report and ensure you meet the criteria to receive competitive home loan rates.
  1. Financial goals: it's essential to consider your current financial circumstances and long-term goals when deciding whether to refinance. Refinancing may not make sense if you plan to sell your home shortly. 

Q3. How often can you refinance your home?

While you can refinance home loans as often as you like, closing costs and extra fees are involved in obtaining a new mortgage, even if it’s with your current lender. 

It can be costly to refinance, which can have a significant impact on your finance. According to recent data from Canstar, taking out a new mortgage in Australia can cost anywhere from $75 to $2,108, depending on your loan refinance terms. 

Additionally, refinancing your current home frequently can impact your credit score, making it more difficult to obtain favourable interest rates on future loans.

If you’re considering refinancing more than once, you need to consider whether the cost of a mortgage refinancing is worth it. 

Q4. Does refinancing hurt your credit?

Refinancing can affect your credit score temporarily. However, the impact is typically minimal and doesn’t need to be a major consideration when refinancing your home. Unless you already have bad credit, refinancing can be beneficial for your score in the long term. 

Here are some ways that refinancing could potentially affect your credit:

  1. Credit inquiries: When you apply for a home loan, mortgage lenders typically perform a credit check, resulting in a hard inquiry on your credit report. A hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points, but the impact is typically temporary.
  1. Change in credit utilisation: Refinancing impacts your credit utilisation ratio. However, If you're refinancing to get a lower loan repayment interest rate, your monthly payment may decrease, increasing your available credit. In the long term, this can lower your credit utilisation ratio and improve your overall credit score.

Q5. What to consider before refinancing your home

Refinancing your home can be a great financial decision, but considering your options is still important. 

Here are some factors to consider before refinancing your current home:

  1. Current interest rates: Interest rates fluctuate over time, and it's essential to understand how they are currently trending. If interest rates are currently low, switching to a fixed-rate home loan can give you more financial stability for the future. 
  1. Your financial situation: Before refinancing, it's important to assess your current financial situation. Consider factors such as your income, expenses, and debts. If you’re unsure of whether refinancing is right for you, talk to a financial advisor. 
  1. Closing costs: Refinancing your home typically involves closing costs, which can leave a big dent in your finances. Make sure you understand the total cost of refinancing and compare it to the potential savings before deciding.
  1. Your future plans: If you plan to sell your home shortly, you may need more than refinancing, even if you can secure a low-rate mortgage. Consider your long-term plans before making a decision.

Summing up

Refinancing your home loan can be an intelligent way to improve your financial situation and achieve better loan terms. While there are many factors to consider before deciding, a new fixed-rate loan can offer more financial stability and peace of mind for the future. 

If you found this article helpful, we invite you to explore the WeMoney blog, where we share regular financial advice. You may also be interested in our latest article, "How long does refinancing take?" which provides valuable insights into the process.

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Disclaimer: The author is not a financial advisor and the information provided is general in nature and was prepared for information purposes only. This article should not be considered to constitute financial advice. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on this article as the basis for making an investment, financial or other decision. This information does not take into account your investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation.

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