Cash refinancing can provide a significant amount of money at attractive interest rates. When you are short on current cash – but have equity in your home – financing provides money for home improvements, educational needs and other goals. But the strategy is risky, and it’s worth considering alternatives to see if there is a better option.
How Cash Refinancing Works?
Cash refinancing happens when you replace an existing home loan by refinancing with a new, larger loan.
By lending more than you currently owe, the lender gives you cash that you can use for whatever you want. In most cases, “cash” comes in the form of a check or wire transfer to your bank account.
How to use money?
You can use the funds from your loan in any way. But the risk and cost cannot be ignored. The key is to use cash refinancing for things that will improve your finances and your ability to repay the loan. Some common uses for refinancing include:
- Home Improvements : It is logical to use home equity for home projects. Strategic enhancements that increase the market value of your home will add to your equity, making it easier to recoup your investment when you sell your home. It’s best to use the funds for “safe” projects that future buyers – not just you and your family – will value.
- Education Costs: Some educational programs can help you find a full-time job and earn more income. If you are convinced that a new degree or study program will benefit you, taking money from your home can make sense.
- Business ventures: It is tempting to use domestic capital to start a business, and this is done with success, but it is also risky. With a high percentage of businesses failing, you need to evaluate how you will repay the loan and how your family will be affected if your venture does not generate income. After all, home loans can be cheaper than credit cards, and if you can absorb the losses, taking money out of your home can be an affordable option. Plus, banks may require you to use your home for a personal guarantee to get a business loan anyway.
- Debt Consolidation? Paying off high-interest credit cards makes sense intuitively, but when you do, you add risk that didn’t exist before. Credit cards are unsecured loans, and lenders have no right to take your home if you don’t pay (all they can do is damage the loan and try to raise money). Once you put that debt on your mortgage, your house is fair game if you don’t pay it.
Although the above uses are popular, they are not always the best choice. Other types of loans may be better suited, and we will explore them below. But first, some pros and cons put those alternatives into context.
Advantages and disadvantages of cash refinancing
It is easy to understand why cost-effectiveness is attractive. When you can improve your existing loan at a lower interest rate than you already have – plus reach the goal – it’s tempting to look.
Advantages of adding capital to the domestic market include:
- Big loans: Equity in your home can be in the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars, so it’s an easy way to make a significant amount of money.
- Relatively Low Rates: Because your home provides a loan, you enjoy relatively low interest rates (compared to credit cards and personal loans).
- Potential tax breaks: Tax breaks are not as generous as they used to be. However, if you use the funds for “significant improvements” in your home, you can get a tax break that effectively reduces the cost of your loan. Ask your accountant for details.
- Long repayment period: By replacing your existing mortgage with a new 30-year or 15-year loan, you can make your payment. But it comes at a price.
Cash deficiencies include:
- Interest Costs: You will restart the clock on all your housing debt, so you will increase your living expenses (borrowing more does the same). To see how it affects you, check the amortization charts on your existing loan and your new loan. The thing about this is to use another mortgage instead.
- Exception Risk: If you cannot repay your loan, you may lose your home. Unsecured loans are far less risky.
- Closing Costs: Mortgage loans require significant closing costs. You always pay for those costs, whether you are crediting them, writing a check or receiving a higher rate. To close a loan, you spend between several hundred and several thousand dollars, and you have to add that amount to what you spend money on.
Equity: Using a cash refinancing loan reduces your equity so you need enough equity in your home to qualify. In other words, your home must be worth more than you owe on your mortgage. Most lenders are hesitant to devote more than 80 percent of your home’s market value, but government-backed programs allow you to borrow more. Just remember that the more you lend, the higher your risk and borrowing costs.
Revenue: Lenders must confirm that you have sufficient income to afford new monthly payments for your loan. This payment can increase as you borrow more, so check your debt to income ratio to see if you will be in the right range.
Credit: As with any home loan, your loans are important. With low scores and recent negative results in your credit history, you will end up paying higher interest rates, which can drastically change your costs.
When you take money in refinancing, instead of simply refinancing with the same balance, lenders are more at risk. As a result, they are a little harder to qualify for, and the costs tend to be higher for these loans.