Refinance FAQ's

Question: Should I refinance?

To determine whether or not it is a good idea for you to refinance, you should look at your specific situation and your motivation for refinancing. The most common reasons to refinance are to reduce your rate and/or payment, convert from an adjustable to a fixed rate, or pull cash out of your equity to consolidate debt or improve your home. If your objective is to reduce your rate and payment, you should review your current interest rate and see how much you can save with a 0 point mortgage and then determine if it makes sense to pay points to reduce your rate further. If you are converting your adjustable rate into a fixed rate, you may actually see an increase in your rate and payment but you’ll get peace of mind knowing your rate will never increase again. If you are using the equity in your home to consolidate debt, your overall mortgage balance and payment may go up, but you will save monthly because you will eliminate the monthly obligations that you are paying off. Your licensed Mortgage Originator can help you determine whether or not refinancing makes sense for you.

Question: How much can I save if I refinance?

Every situation is different. It depends on what your current interest is and what your motivation is for refinancing. If your current rate is higher than what is available in the market, it probably makes sense to refinance. To get an idea of what you could save by refinancing, check out our calculators and enter numbers specific to your situation or call one of our licensed Mortgage Originator for some expert advice.

Question: What if I have a second mortgage on my home? Can I still refinance?

Typically, any second mortgages are paid off through the refinance. We will consolidate both loans into one new first mortgage and you will only have one payment each month. If you’d prefer to keep your second mortgage intact, we may be able to ask your second mortgage lender to remain in second position and allow us to refinance the first mortgage. This process is called subordination and there is typically a fee charged by the second mortgage lender.

Question: Am I allowed to refinance if my property value is less than what I owe?

There are options that may allow you to refinance your mortgage even if the value of your home is less than what you owe. Call and speak with one of our licensed Mortgage Originator to see if you qualify for one of our programs.

Question: What are the costs associated with refinancing?

Fees associated with refinancing vary from lender to lender but there are standard fees that are typical across the board. These fees include 3rd party fees such as credit report, title, escrow, notary, and recording fees. Other fees include the appraisal fee and lender fees such as processing and underwriting. If you are paying points to lower the rate, the cost of each point that you pay equals 1% of your new loan amount. Aside from the closing fees, there will be prorated pre-paid costs for items such as property taxes, interest, and homeowners insurance (if applicable). If you have enough equity in your home, you can add all fees and pre-paid items into your new mortgage.

Question: What type of documentation do I need for refinance?

Standard documentation collected for a refinance transaction includes information regarding your income such as paystubs covering the most recent 30 days and W-2s for the last two years, asset information such as bank or mutual fund/stock statements covering the last 60 days and current loan information such as your most recent mortgage statement and homeowners insurance declarations page.

Question: Can I refinance with bad credit?

Depending on the reasons why your credit is imperfect, there are great loan options available including our government programs. Call and speak with one of our licensed Mortgage Originator to determine whether or not you qualify for one of our programs

Question: Is it true that you should only consider refinancing if you can lower your rate at least .5%?

There is no rule-of-thumb when it comes to refinancing because there are different reasons to refinance. If you are currently in an adjustable rate looking to get into a long-term fixed mortgage, your rate and payment may actually increase, but you will be in a better long-term situation knowing your rate and payment will not change. If you are looking to consolidate debt, your loan amount and mortgage payments may go up but your overall monthly outflow will decrease because you will have eliminated some or all of your credit card bills and other monthly obligations. There are also no-cost and low-cost refinance options that can lower your rate and payment with no or minimal investment. It is a good idea to go over your specific situation with a Mortgage Originator to determine whether refinancing makes sense or not.

Question: How long is the refinance process?

Most refinance transactions close in about 45-55 days from application to closing. As long as you do your part in delivering the documentation that we need in a timely manner, we should be able to close your loan within 45 days.

Question: What happens at the loan closing?

Depending on the state where your property is located, you can either sign in your home or at a designated settlement location such as an escrow office or attorney’s office. In the presence of the signing authority, you will review and sign all your mortgage documents and then present a certified or cashier’s check to pay the closing fees and other applicable closing funds unless you decided to finance the closing funds into your new mortgage.


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Elmira Savings Bank is an approved Seller/Servicer of Freddie Mac, FHA/Department of Housing & Urban Development, VA, USDA, and SONYMA (NY Only). Elmira Savings Bank is an Equal Housing Lender committed to ensuring every applicant for credit receive fair and equal treatment throughout the credit application and approval process, as embodied in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. All mortgage lending products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply.

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