One of the most common questions of homeowners thinking about this process is how long it takes to refinance a home. The answer is a resounding, “it depends.” The average mortgage takes 20-45 days to refinance, though individual lenders who do give a time estimate note that you should expect the process to take at least 30 days. It can even take as long as 90 days to get through the entire process, especially if your refinance is plagued with delays such as disorganizing or major life changes during the process.
How Long it Takes to Refinance a Home: Overview
On average, it takes 20-45 days to refinance your home loan. Most lenders do not give time estimates because there are so many factors that affect the process, but those who do say that it generally takes at least 30 days. Refinancing your home loan can take up to 90 days.
One of the common questions lenders get from homeowners is how long it takes to refinance a home. You may be considering a refinanced home loan for any number of reasons, including lowering your monthly payments by extending the term or getting a lower interest rate. Before you start the process, however, let’s take a look at exactly how long you can expect the refinance application and closing to take, from start to finish.
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Refinancing Length in a Nutshell
According to Jennifer Beeston, an expert from Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, every mortgage lender is different, but the average refinance takes 20 to 45 days. However, lenders such as Quicken Loans and LoanDirect note that the process typically takes at least 30 days.
Step 1: Your Own Research
The first step is to do your research, along with gathering the documents you need to move forward. How long does it take to refinance your home loan? The answer to that question starts with you! Your may opt to do a brief amount of research over a few days or spend weeks on your research. During this initial step, you’ll want to estimate the current value of your home, check out the types of home loans available, read lender reviews, make a budget for the closing costs, and collect your documents.
To avoid spending too much time with research, consider speaking to mortgage professionals to get some of your questions answered. You can even directly ask: “How long does it take to refinance your home loan?” to get an estimate from specific lenders.
The lenders who process the highest number of mortgages, including refinances, are Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Freedom Mortgage Corp; this is a good place to start.
Step 2: Applying
After putting in the time to do your own research, it is time to choose a lender and apply. When you submit the application, be ready to choose the type of home loan you want, and be sure to fill out the application carefully, since errors can slow down the process. Many lenders allow you to apply online, so it shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete your application.
Step 3: The Approval Process
The next step falls on the mortgage lender’s plate. During this stage, your home will go through an official appraisal process, and you may be asked to submit more documents to assist with underwriting. This entire approval step can take several weeks. It is the part of the process that takes the longest, even if you are organized.
Step 4: Review Your Rate and Costs
You can lock in your interest rate at any time in the process, but be sure to do it before closing. Many lenders allow you to lock in your rate for 30, 60, or 90 days. After you’ve been approved, you’ll also want to closely review the closing costs due during the signing. Take a day to make sure there are no mistakes.
Step 5: Closing
Once you review the fees, it is time to schedule a date to sign the paperwork, which takes a few hours. During closing, you should also be prepared to pay any fees due.
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How Long it Takes to Refinance a Home: Delays
As you might have realized by now, the question “How long does it take to refinance your home?” really depends on if the process is delayed. To keep it closer to 30 days than 90, here are a few tips:
1. Organization matters
Are your documents in order? Have your questions been answered? Are you ready to pay closing costs? The more organized you are, the faster the refinance process will be. Respond quickly to any inquiries from the lender.
2. Avoid any major life changes
If your documents change during refinancing, your lender may have to backtrack in the underwriting process. Avoid changes such as applying for loans and starting a new job. If you foresee any of these changes in your future, wait to apply.
3. Check your credit score for mistakes
Mistakes on your application can cause slight delays, but mistakes in your credit score can completely halt the process. Before you apply, check your credit report to ensure everything looks correct.
4. Don’t choose a slow-moving lender
When shopping around, directly ask lenders how long it will take. Most may say around 30 days, but some may say the process will take longer. Be wary of lenders who say it will take 90 days or more.
5. Keep it simple
The more complex your situation, the longer it will take across every step. Of course, some complexities cannot be avoided, but when you are choosing the type and term of your loan, consider that some options may add time to the schedule. When in doubt, ask your lender how your choice may affect the approval process.
How Long it Takes to Refinance a Home: Conclusion
In conclusion, although you can expect the home refinance process to take 20 to 45 days on average, the safest bet is to expect it to take at least 30 days and as long as 90 days in some situations. How long does it take to refinance a home? Ultimately, the answer depends on your personal situation and the lender you choose.