Best Mortgage RefinanceReviewAdviceFAQ's

Best Mortgage Refinance Rates for 2016

Looking for the best lenders to refinance your mortgage?

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Best Mortgage & Home Loan Refinance Rates

A mortgage refinance is a great move if it saves you money or gives you financial flexibility. Look at your current mortgage to see if you can benefit by refinancing. A primary reason for refinancing is to save money by lowering your interest rate, or changing the loan term (number of years) with a new loan. With a lower interest rate, your payment is lower, it's that simple. Mortgage rates are on the rise in 2016, but a new loan with a rate half a percent lower could save you hundreds per month.

Another scenario is cash-out refinancing when you take out a new mortgage for more than you owe. The extra cash may be used to pay off other debt, such as student loans, or for an investment or business start-up.

Mortgage Refinance: What to Consider

As with your existing mortgage, you will do comparison shopping to see which lenders offer the best loan for you. Part of your preparation is to get your financial documents in order, check your credit report and score, and clean up any inaccuracies prior to applying for a new loan.

Once you've identified your reason for refinancing your mortgage, you are ready to move ahead and look at lenders. There is a range of options available, from direct mortgage lenders to mortgage comparison sites and even peer to peer lenders. Refinance shoppers can look at the different lenders online, getting an overview of what types of loans are available and what they can qualify for.

Whether the lender offers the loan themselves or generates offers from competing lenders, you'll need to carefully consider the best loan features for you. Do you want a fixed rate loan or an adjustable rate loan? With a fixed rate, your payment remains constant. Your payment goes up and down with interest rates on a variable rate loan.

Look at the term of a mortgage refinancing loan, for example, 15, 20 or 30 years. A shorter term means a higher payment, but big savings on interest over the life of the loan. Some lenders also qualify borrowers for programs such as FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) loans. These government sponsored loans allow those with less than ideal credit to qualify for a lower interest rate.

As you shop for the best online deal on a mortgage refinance loan, here are some key points to keep in mind:

Compare Interest Rates - Getting the best interest rate is at the heart of your search for the best mortgage refinance loan. It's worth the time and effort to compare rates from the top online lenders. Some, like Quicken Loans, make it easy. Just go to their main mortgage refinance web page where they post current rates for five different types of loans just below their opening paragraph.

Many online mortgage refinance lenders have an interest rate tool at their site, allowing you to enter basic loan and financial information to get an idea of the interest rate you'll qualify for. Some interest rate tools give you your likely rate immediately. Others require you to turn over a phone number or email, then the mortgage banker contacts you later to discuss rates.

In truth, no banker can give you an accurate rate quote until they know the details of your loan, your credit history and financial situation. But an instant interest rate tool is great for narrowing down the field of potential lenders. When shopping rates, be aware that low-interest rates may be tied to lender points and fees.

Tracking the Fees - You'll rarely see a loan application or site use fee from an online mortgage refinance lender, but keep an eye out for them just the same. The best online mortgage lending sites are transparent about their fees, and clearly display all loan origination fees and closing costs. SoFi, for example, states on their mortgage refinance page, "no application, origination or other lender fees".

Typically you can expect to pay for an appraisal of the property when you refinance a mortgage. Some online lenders collect a fee up front to lock in an interest rate or pay for a property appraisal. Such fees should be credited against your closing costs, be sure to confirm that rate lock or appraisal fees are credited against closing costs before paying them. By law, mortgage lenders are required to provide you a "good faith estimate" of all charges.

Guidance from a Mortgage Specialist - Some online mortgage refinance services are automated, relying on technology to communicate and process your loan. With others, you are guided through the entire refinance process by a mortgage banker or mortgage specialist. It is helpful to have access to a mortgage refinance professional with a high level of expertise, especially during the underwriting process where you may be required to produce an array of financial documents.

Customer Service Options and Access - Look into the customer service options of each online lender. Do they offer phone, email and live chat options? Are you able to meet a mortgage refinance specialist in person? What are their customer service hours? Try contacting each mortgage refinance company you are seriously considering to gauge their expertise and responsiveness. This may result in some aggressive follow-up sales calls, but you will find out which companies are attentive to their customers.

Independent Consumer Reviews - While it's easy to find positive customer reviews at a mortgage lending site, the truth comes out with a survey of independent consumer reviews. Check leading review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Yelp for feedback from customers. Don't put too much stock in reviews that condemn a lender, or rave about them. The overall consensus of customers guides you as to what to expect.

Website User Experience - Look for an online mortgage refinance site that is easy to navigate and understand, giving you confidence in their business. There should be a section of the site dedicated to mortgage refinance. A good site will offer an interest rate tool, information on a variety of loan programs, a clear explanation of the application, underwriting and closing process, and transparent information about rates and fees. It should also make it easy to start a loan application from the site. The best sites will offer easy options to contact the lender via phone, email or chat.

Does the website offer educational information on mortgage refinance? - Refinancing a mortgage is a big financial step and you want to get it right. A superior online mortgage lender offers educational resources on the mortgage refinance process, strategies and pricing. Some have a whole section of the site dedicated to articles covering all aspects of mortgage refinance. loanDepot has their Knowledge Cafe section, an excellent resource to explore when considering refinancing your home.

Best Mortgage Refinance Rates

Meet the Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders

Mortgage refinance lending has changed in recent years as the online lending industry has emerged. These companies compete to deliver a smooth customer experience and competitive loan products. Some are cutting edge tech start-ups with a fresh take on mortgage lending while others grow out of more traditional banking models. They all seek to leverage technology in order to streamline the mortgage refinance process. Here's our pick of the top providers:

SoFi Review

  • Pros
  • Free Service
  • Flexible qualifying process
  • Site is easy to navigate
  • Funds loans in house
  • Cons
  • Registration required to use rate tool

San Francisco-based SoFi is a peer-to-peer lender building their reputation with student debt consolidation and consumer loans, and now with mortgage refinance lending. They have their own loan qualification process, taking into account your employment, earning potential and education history. Cash flow trumps credit rating in qualifying with this lender. SoFi is a real maverick, not requiring private mortgage insurance, and not basing loan amounts on property appraisals (although they still require an appraisal).

Quicken Loans Review

  • Pros
  • Customer service via phone, chat or email
  • Variety of loan options available
  • High customer satisfaction
  • Cons
  • Site not specific to mortgage refinance

Visit the Quicken Loans mortgage refinance page and you're greeted with a user-friendly slate of mortgage refinance information and links. The enthusiastic, helpful tone continues as you scroll down a bit to find a slate of interest rates and APRs on five different types of mortgage refinance loans. On the right side of the webpage is an interest rate tool based on your finances and credit score. The overall impression is that Quicken Loans wants your business and is knocking themselves out to deliver what you need.

Sindeo Review

  • Pros
  • Wide variety of loan programs
  • Flexible options
  • Comprehensive customer service
  • Cons
  • Doesn't directly finance loans

Sindeo is a startup lender based in San Francisco dedicated to changing how the mortgage industry works, delivering a streamlined mortgage refinance experience to customers. They offer a transparent, simplified application and underwriting process starting from their website. You will provide basic information using their interest rate tool, and get an instant quote on 30 and 15-year fixed-rate loans, as well as adjustable rate and interest only loans.

LoanDepot Review

  • Pros
  • Customer service via phone or chat
  • Expert staff guidance
  • Variety of loan options available
  • Cons
  • Site not specific to mortgage refinance

LoanDepot is a leading online lender bringing a personal touch to mortgage refinancing. It starts with a call a licensed loan officer. You get help with your questions about home refinancing, current mortgage rates and loan options. The loan officer provides information on a range of refinancing options and looks at your credit history and finances to help deliver the best interest rate possible. They guide you through the loan application process and bring fast approval to qualified borrowers.

Sebonic Financial Review

  • Pros
  • Simple application process
  • Intuitive technology
  • Good customer support
  • Cons
  • Site not as informative as others

Sebonic Financial promises an improved mortgage refinancing experience via the power of superior technology, combined with your relationship with a Sebonic mortgage refinance specialist. Sebonic delivers quick processing of your application and underwriting, allowing you to close your refinance loan efficiently. Sebonic Financial is backed by established mortgage lender Cardinal Financial, bringing the steady hand of experience to this new technology based online mortgage lender.

Advice for Mortgage Refinance

As you shop for an online mortgage refinance loan, be sure to check out our advice guides to educate yourself on the ins-and-outs of the mortgage refinance process and strategies. These informative pieces are sure to be helpful as you consider mortgage refinance lenders. Here are some examples:

Should you refinance your mortgage to get a better interest rate? A refinance means paying off your current loan with a newly generated loan. It's a mortgage makeover. Think of it as an opportunity to fix what you don't like about your mortgage. But first, make sure it's worth it.

Refinancing your mortgage is a major financial move, and you want to get the right mortgage refinance loan. There are lenders out there looking to deliver a good product at a fair price, and others who are scammers looking to take you to the cleaners. Keep an eye out for the right loan that saves you money.

The mortgage refinancing process can be daunting. There are lots of competing lenders and loan products, along with a range of refinancing strategies. Then there is the prospect of the application, underwriting and closing process to navigate. Here are the basics laid out for you in clear language, along with tips on common mistakes to avoid.


In shopping for a mortgage refinance, leave no stone unturned in finding your best possible loan. This means getting an outstanding loan for a person with your finances and credit score. Take a close look at what each lender an offer you. Be sure the loan meets your goals, whether it's saving big on interest over the life of the loan, or taking extra money out for an important project.

There is no time like the present to look into refinancing your mortgage, as Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) predicts modest interest rate increases ahead. Take theses lending sites out for a test drive, using their online tools to see who offers the best deal. You'll certainly get a few promotional emails in your inbox as a result, but you may also find a mortgage refinance loan the will save you significant money.

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Questions & Answers About Best Mortgage Refinance

Should I refinance my mortgage?

When interest rates start to go down, it might be tempting to consider refinancing your mortgage. However, there are other disadvantages to look out for like closing costs and fees.

Before making a decision, take a look at your finances. What's your credit score and history? If your credit isn't as good as it used to be, refinancing might not get you better rates. Look at other factors like your income, debts and expenses. Lenders will consider your other financial obligations when determining your rate.

Finally, find out the current value of your home. If your home has a lot of equity, lenders will be more likely to give you better rates.

What's the difference between a home equity loan and an equity line of credit?

While both of these use your home as a form of collateral there are significant differences between the two. A home equity loan consists of payments which do not change and a fixed interest rate. A line of credit, on the other hand, has a variable interest rate and has a payment which can change every month depending on how much your spend or a change with the Prime rate. What's more, a line of credit is accessible for a long-term drawing period and when you pay down the balance, usually more money becomes available.

How do I choose a mortgage lender?

Choosing a mortgage lender should be based on a number of factors including the type of interest rate appropriate for your finances and property. The interest rate you qualify for will be based on your credit history and your ability to repay, the loan amount, the value of collateral, and other factors.

Should I get a fixed or adjustable rate?

First, it's important to clarify the difference between these two rates. An adjustable-rate loan has rates which are linked to an index which means they can fluctuate over time. Fixed-rates, on the other hand, have interest rates which stay consistent over the life of the loan. You need to analyze how a higher monthly payment would affect your finances should the rate increase over time. Likewise, examine how you could afford the payments in relation to the length of time you intend to be in that home.

After I secure a mortgage, what are the types of insurance available to me?

There are a number of insurance options including disability insurance (makes loan payments should you become disabled and no longer able to work), mortgage life insurance, homeowner's insurance, owner's title insurance, FHA mortgage insurance and private mortgage insurance. Read this article to learn about each insurance option in depth.

How will my mortgage lender determine the closing fees?

There are various sources for the fees that a lender charges at closing. These include state taxes and local real estate fees, lender fees to cover the loan processing and paperwork, advances such as interest due at closing or per diem, and third-party fees which cover things such as flood certification, appraisal, credit reports, etc.

What is an escrow account and why are my funds placed there?

An escrow account is simply a third party account to hold money for the purpose of conducting a transaction, such as a real estate transaction. As it relates to mortgages, homebuyers usually put extra money into an escrow account each month in addition to their home loan payments. Note that federal laws require your lender to send you annual statements detailing all the transactions taken place in your escrow account including amounts collected or dispersed.

Why do I have to pay pre-paid interest?

Basically what occurs when you close your loan is that interest accrues in between the date you close and the last day of the calendar month. Instead of making your initial monthly payment larger to account for this extra, the amount is added to the total for your closing costs.

How are interest rates determined in regards to the Federal Reserve?

These rates fluctuate based on factors like inflation, the growth of the economy and Federal Reserve policy. Rising inflation normally results in a hike for interest rates while a modest inflation rate results in lower interest rates across the board. It's the Federal Reserve's responsibility to implement policies which keep inflation stable and at a relatively low state.

Is title insurance mandatory for mortgage lenders?

Yes, all mortgage lenders require the coverage to be equal to the loan amount and it remains until the loan is repaid.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

PMI is offered by private mortgage insurance companies in order to protect lenders against any loss should the borrower default. PMI is usually required for a loan with a loan to value percentage higher than 80%.

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In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.