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Home Loan Refinancing - When Do You Have To Close?

Written by: Carrie Reeder

Refinanced mortgages have a couple of different rules when it comes to closing. For one, there is a mandatory rescission clause for primary residence mortgages that allows you annul your loan. You can also choose to close at anytime, which is beneficial if you think rates will drop in the near future.

Rescission Clause

With a rescission clause, you have three days after closing to cancel your loan if the property is your primary residence. Think of it as a "cooling off" period. If you have second thoughts, you can annul the loan and recoup nearly all the fees.

Most often this clause comes in handy when homeowners are deciding to tap into their home's equity, but then change their minds. Other times, a change in job situation or home plans makes the refinanced mortgage unnecessary.

Once you have annulled your mortgage, you will only have a short term hit on your credit score from the lender's background check. It will make little difference if you decided to apply for another loan in the near future.

Delaying Closing

You don't have to close your refinanced mortgage within 30 days. You can keep it open indefinitely. However, you have to weigh your choices carefully. While you are waiting for rates to drop, you may see them rise while paying your current high mortgage rate.

Mortgage rates fluctuate on an almost hourly rate, but they do follow a trend. You can read about general mortgage rate in your newspaper's finance section or hear it on the evening news. When the Federal Reserve Board raises or lower rates, it will eventually impact mortgage rates. But other factors also affect mortgage rates, making it difficult to predict exact changes.

You also have to remember that every month you delay locking in rates, you are losing a chance to save money. While a percent can save you a significant amount of money, a quarter or eighth of a percent doesn't really make it worth it. Waiting for lower rates is a gamble that you have a right to.

Know Your Options

Once you begin the refinancing process, know that you aren't locked into the loan or closing. You have the power to stop the process even after the loan has closed for three days. You also have the choice on when to lock in rates. With these options, you can explore all your financial choices and make the decision that is right for you.

About the author:

View our recommended mortgage Refi lenders. Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan Guide, an informational website about various types of loans.


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