Is a Cash-Out Refinance the Way to Go?

A cash-out refinance can be used for several things, including debt reduction and property upgrades.

To successfully qualify for a cash-out refinance, one of the main requirements is that you as a homeowner must have equity and assets in your property. The amount of your home's value that you possess outright, without any outstanding mortgage loans, is referred to as equity.

Things to Consider with a Cash-Out Refinance

If you're considering a cash-out refinance, here are some essential things to keep in mind:

What Amount Can I Get?

Lenders will typically allow you to borrow no more than 80% of the value of your property. However, the total amount varies by lender and may be contingent on your unique circumstances; lender's fees can vary as well.

VA loans, which allow you to borrow up to the entire value of your existing equity, are an exception to the 80% rule.

If you have a median FICO® score of 680 or better, you can borrow the entire amount with Rocket Mortgage®. However, other lenders' policies could be different.

The Pros of a Cash-Out Refinance

If you need cash for significant expenses—or if you want to consolidate other debts—a cash-out refinance might be right for you.

When you take out a new first mortgage loan to pay off an old one, this is known as a refinancing (including a second mortgage). If you borrow more money with your new mortgage than you owe for the outstanding balance of your exisiting mortgage, this is known as a cash-out refinancing. 

If you have a lot of equity in your house and need money for renovations, debt consolidation, or other significant necessities, this form of refinancing may be a viable alternative.

Cash-out refinancing has various advantages, such as:

The Cons of a Cash-Out Refinance

When contemplating a cash-out refinance, there are a few things to consider.

You will be responsible for the new loan's closing costs - these can rapidly add up, so factor them into your budget.

Furthermore, the interest rate on your new loan will almost definitely be higher than on your present one. As a result, you may pay more interest in the long run.

Finally, cashing out your home equity can lower your overall equity. If the value of your home lowers or you need to sell it in the future, this could put you at risk.

Before settling on a cash-out refinance, be sure to weigh all the benefits and drawbacks.

When Is it a Good Idea to Do a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance is appropriate in a few situations.

You may be able to pay off high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, with the funds from your refinance. This will save you money on interest and allow you to pay off your debt faster.

A cash-out refinance may be an excellent idea if you need to make a significant purchase, such as a home renovation. Instead of taking out a separate loan, you can use the money from your cash-out refinance. 

Compare your new loan's interest rates and terms with your existing mortgage first, and make sure a cash-out refinance is the best alternative for you before going ahead with it.

When Is it Not a Good Idea to Do a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance may not be the best idea in the following situations:

The Steps Involved in Refinancing Your Home with a Cash-Out Refinance

Evaluate Your Home Equity

When determining your home equity, you must consider the value of your home as well as any existing mortgages or loans to give you an idea of your home's equity or how much cash you could potentially access.

There are various ways to figure out your home equity. One way is to subtract your mortgage balance from your home's appraised worth.

Another way is to take the market value of your home and subtract any outstanding debts or liens against it.

Shop for the Best Refinance Rate

In order to do this, homeowners will need to understand cash-out refinances, no-cost refinancing, and rate-and-term refinance.

  1. A cash-out refinance is when you refinance your house for more than you owe on the loan. This can be beneficial if you need cash for home repairs or improvements or if you want to consolidate high-interest debt. The downside is that cash-out refinances typically have higher interest rates than other types of refinancing. If possible, you should try to get a fixed rate so that this doesn't change.
  2. The term "no-cost refinancing" refers to getting a new loan without having to pay any upfront costs. This can be a good option if you are tight on cash, but it is essential to compare the total costs of the loan, including the interest rate and any points that are charged, before making a decision.
  3. The most prevalent type of refinancing is rate-and-term refinancing. This could imply refinancing your house loan for a cheaper interest rate or extending the loan term - which will save you money over the course of the loan but will not give you any money upfront.

The best rate is the refinance rate that best matches your specific needs. Before making a decision, consider all three methods of refinancing.

Talk to Your Mortgage Lender

Your current mortgage lender will be able to show you your accounts and see if you qualify for a cash-out refinance.

If you do, they will give you a loan estimate describing the new loan terms. You can also talk to other lenders to compare.

Apply for the Loan

Once you've decided to move forward with a cash-out refinance, you'll need to apply for the loan and submit all necessary documentation.

Although the process varies significantly from one lender to the next, you should anticipate supplying the following information and documentation:

When you're ready to apply, most lenders will allow you to do so online, over the phone, or in person. The lender will pull your credit record and examine your financial status after you've filed your application.

If all your information seems acceptable, they'll send you a loan estimate that outlines everything.

Using a cash-out refinance can be a terrific method to access your home equity and use it for things like home improvements, investments, or debt repayment.

Make sure you understand all of the procedures required before you begin.

Things to Consider Before You Finalize Your Refinancing Paperwork

When considering refinancing your home, it's essential to understand all of the potential benefits and drawbacks of cash-out refinances.

Remember these essential things before you make your decision:

  1. A cash-out refinance could increase the total interest you pay on your loan.
  2. A cash-out refinance could lengthen the term of your loan, increasing your monthly payments.
  3. If you don't make timely payments on a cash-out refinance, your house may be in jeopardy.
  4. A cash-out refinance requires that you have equity in your house.
  5. You may be forced to pay closing costs if you refinance your home.
  6. You'll need to maintain good credit to qualify for a cash-out refinance.
  7. You may be able to deduct the interest you pay on your refinanced loan.
  8. A cash-out refinance may make it more challenging to sell your house later.


Choosing a cash-out refinance isn't the best option for everyone.

Here are some alternatives to consider:

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to borrow against the equity in your house and pay back the loan plus interest only when you need it.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are small-dollar loans that are not secured by your home; the lender cannot seize your property if you default. On the other hand, personal loans are frequently more expensive than other types of loans because they are not secured by collateral.

Debt Consolidation Loan

A debt consolidation loan, or home equity loan, is a loan used to consolidate credit card debt. Consolidating your debt into a single monthly payment can help you save money on interest and pay it off faster.

Cash-In Refinance

A cash-in refinance occurs when you refinance your mortgage for a higher amount than you now owe, receiving the difference in cash. This money can be utilized for anything, especially house upgrades and investing.

Keep the Mortgage and Invest Elsewhere

You might keep your mortgage and invest the extra money if you have an overflow each month. This could include investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, buying a rental property, or starting a business.

Sell Your Home

Of course, you could always sell your home and use the proceeds to pay off your mortgage. This would allow you to pocket any equity you have in the home, but you would need to find a new place to live.

Refinance for a Lower Payment

If you struggle to make your current mortgage payment, you could refinance for a lower amount. This would give you some breathing room in your budget, but it would also mean that you would be paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Let Your Home Go

If you are genuinely unable to make your mortgage payments, you may have no choice but to let your home go.

This is referred to as foreclosure, and it will harm your credit for years.

If you're in danger of losing your home to foreclosure, go to a housing counselor to determine if there are any alternative choices.

A Better Alternative

What if you don’t have enough equity in your house or are simply looking for another way to get much-needed renovations done? 

At Housetable, we offer something else entirely. We offer home equity loans specifically designed for home renovations where, instead of borrowing against the current value of your home, you can borrow against the projected post-renovation value of your home. 

We do this by using sophisticated technology based on artificial intelligence, which not only allows us to see what the projected post-renovation value (ARV) of your home can be, but also which specific renovation types will add that projected value. 

Using this technology, along with our contractor monitoring program, assures your lender that your home will become a lot more valuable by using our loan program. We make things easier and take out the stress and guesswork of securing a loan for your home renovation. Plus, you don’t have to refinance and lose your low rates when you go with a Housetable loan.

Talk to Us

Whatever you decide to do, this is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Sit down with your partner, family, friends, and some professionals to go through all of your options and choose the right thing for you.

We're happy to talk with you and assist you in deciding the best options for financing your home renovations. Don’t settle. Instead, get the loan that’s right for you. 

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