RefiNow: the Easiest Way to Get a Lower Interest Rate

Learn how to get the lowest interest rate on your refinance loan.

Loan graphicRefiNow is a new mortgage refinancing option available to qualified homeowners looking to lower their monthly mortgage payment. Numerous homeowners have discovered that their monthly mortgage and debt payments are impeding their ability to refinance.

For some homeowners, the bank or mortgage company informs them that they lack insufficient equity to roll in or pay the closing and prepaid expenses. The Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, understands the obstacles faced by low- to moderate-income homeowners seeking to refinance and reduce their interest rate, and consequently their mortgage payment.

For these reasons, Fannie Mae has launched a new refinancing program to assist homeowners with low to moderate income in lowering their monthly payment.

Do you qualify for a RefiNow mortgage?

Step 1 – The RefiNow mortgage is only offered to homeowners whose current mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae. You can use the Fannie Mae's look up tool to check whether your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae. If your mortgage is not owned by Fannie Mae, use the Freddie Mac lookup tool below to see if Freddie Mac owns your mortgage.

Step 2 - Refinow is only available to borrowers whose income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). This program is not available to Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. Only low and moderate income homeowners are eligible for the RefiNow mortgage. Does your (gross) annual income meet the 80% threshold? Use the Fannie Mae income lookup tool to see if you meet the income guideline.

Additional guidelines for RefiNow

If you pass step one and two, we'll move on to additional requirements of the RefiNow refinance mortgage program.

  • Single-family residences, two, three and four unit properties are ineligible
  • Only for the primary home. No investment properties or second houses are permitted.
  • Borrowers' current income must be less than or equal to 80% of the subject property's area median income (AMI).
  • As of the new note date, the current loan must be at least 12 months old but no more than 120 months old.

Housing payment history for existing mortgage

  • Borrowers must not have a history of late payments during the last six months; and
  • No more than one late payment throughout the months of July to December

COVID-19 forbearance can cause people to miss payments, but if those payments were resolved in accordance with LL-2021-03, they don't count as missed payments for meeting these payment history requirements. 

  • Maximum LTV/CLTV of 97 percent. This means that after paying off the current loan (plus any additional loans, if necessary), there must be at least 3% equity remaining after adding in closing and prepayment expenses.
  • Debt to income ratio, up to 65%. Debt to income is lender's lingo for determining the ratio of monthly debt (i.e., car payment, credit cards, student loan) and comparing it to monthly income. For example, if a borrower earns $2,000 (gross) and is paying out $1,000 each month, the debt to income ratio is 50%. Simply add up your monthly loan payments and divide the monthly income into the monthly debt payments. ($1,000/$2,000 = 50%)
  • Minimum credit score of 620

The refinancing must provide the following benefits:

  • The monthly payment must be lowered by at least $50.00
  • The new interest rate must be cut by at least 1/2%.
  • The borrower may not receive cash back at settlement greater than $250.
  • Closing fees, prepaid goods, and points may not exceed $5,000.
  • If an appraisal is obtained, a $500 credit will be issued at closing.
  • The refinancing must be approved by automated underwriting.
    Automated underwriting is a computer software that assists lenders in determining whether or not to accept an application.

With the exclusions listed below, condo, co-op, and PUD developments do not need a project review.

  • Confirm that the project is not a condo or co-op hotel, a motel, a houseboat, a timeshare, or a project with segmented ownership.
  • Confirm that you have enough property and flood insurance.

Standard mortgage insurance is needed on all loans with a loan-to-value ratio higher than 80%. This means that if the equity is less than 20%, monthly mortgage insurance is needed.

For example, if the property is worth $100,000 and the new loan is $90,000, the loan to value is 90% and mortgage insurance is required.

Mortgage insurance is not needed if the new loan is $80,000 or less. Here's how a lender determines loan to value. Divide the new loan amount (we'll choose $90,000) by the house value. ($90,000/$100,000).

Refi Possible by Freddie Mac

The Refi Possible mortgage is offered by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compete with one another, however, both companies are similar to one another with their approval guidelines. Freddie Mac's Refi Possible guidelines are identicle to Fannie Mae.

Does Freddie Mac own your mortgage? Use the Freddie Mac lookup tool.

Fannie Mae flyer 

Conclusion

In conclusion, RefiNow is the easiest way to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage. With just a few clicks, you can see if you qualify for a lower interest rate and potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. So what are you waiting for? Try RefiNow today!