Finding the Right Time to Refinance a Loan
Written by: John Mussi
If you've been thinking about refinancing a loan, you might wonder whether or not right now is the best time to do so.
There are a variety of factors which can influence whether or not the timing is right for refinancing... national and local interest rates, your credit history, and even the amount of time that you've been making payments on the loan.
We'll look at each of these factors in a little closer detail, so as to give you a better idea of what you're looking for when trying to decide whether or not the time is right to refinance.
National Interest Rates
Interest rates fluctuate as time goes by, increasing naturally over time as the cost of living and other expenses increase.
The base interest rates that all lenders must adhere to are set on a national level, however... this is one of the ways that governments work to battle inflation and try to influence consumer spending if the economy stalls or slows down.
In periods where spending is rampant and prices are beginning to rise, national interest rates might rise so as to slow down the increase in prices due to overspending. If the economy has reached a slower point, however, interest rates might be lowered to encourage consumers to apply for low-interest loans.
Obviously, this is the best time to apply for loan refinancing, since the interest rates that you'll pay will be lower and the loan terms may be more flexible.
Local Interest Rates
Of course, interest rates may fluctuate locally just as they do nationally. You might find higher or lower interest rates depending upon where you live, and the difference between local interest rates and the national interest rate might become significant if your local banks see a need for higher interest rates because of conditions in your area.
Before deciding upon a refinance lender, it's often a good idea to check interest rates in other areas as well... the best time to refinance is when your local lenders are closer to or below the rates offered in other areas.
As with your initial loan, the interest rates that you pay on a loan refinance can vary drastically depending upon your credit history.
While your credit score might well be better when you apply for your refinance than it was when you applied for the original loan, there's always the chance that you might have missed a few payments to one creditor or another since getting the loan and your score might have dropped.
Just because you've already gotten the first loan, don't think you can ignore the importance of your credit history... make sure that you take it into account when searching for a loan refinance.
Time Elapsed on Loan
The amount of time that has passed since you received your original loan can have a bearing on how much you pay on a refinance loan. It can be frowned upon by some lenders to apply for a refinance soon after receiving your loan... if nothing else, it can show that you didn't take the time to research your loan options before deciding upon a lender.
In order to avoid this problem, be sure to investigate all of your options and compare the offers of several lenders before deciding upon a loan.
If after you've received your loan and begun the repayment process a major drop in interest rates or some other change occurs, then go ahead and refinance... otherwise, it's best to wait until at least a quarter of the loan has been repaid.
You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:
About the Author
John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.
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