The best refinance companies for 2022
We ranked the best mortgage refinance companies for 2022 based on a variety of factors, including loan options, requirements, customer satisfaction, and average refinance rates and fees.
The best lender for you will depend on your current home loan and your refinance goals. So make sure you shop around for the lowest rate and best overall deal.
Editor’s note: The Mortgage Reports may be compensated by some of these lenders if you choose to work with them. However, that does not affect our rankings. See our full editorial disclosures here and our review methodology here.
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The 10 best mortgage refinance companies
Below are the ten best refinance companies for 2022 based on rates, fees, and customer satisfaction. Remember that rates vary from one borrower to the next and the right lender will be different for each homeowner. So pick a few lenders you like, apply with each one, and then compare the rates and fees you’re offered to find the right company for your unique situation.
Refinance loan types
There’s a wide range of mortgage products for homeowners looking to refinance. The right one for you depends on your current loan and your refinance goals.
Refinance options include:
- Rate-and-term refinance — For a lower interest rate and monthly payment
- Cash-out refinance — Available with conventional, FHA, and VA loans
- Streamlined Refinance — Available with FHA, VA, and USDA loans
- Jumbo refinance loan —For high-value real estate and large loan amounts
Keep in mind that when you refinance, your new mortgage does not have to be the same type of loan as your old mortgage. In fact, there are often benefits to switching to a different loan type. For example, you might:
Refinance to remove mortgage insurance
FHA homeowners may be able to cancel mortgage insurance by refinancing.
If your current mortgage is FHA-backed, but you have at least a 620 credit score and 20% home equity, you may qualify for a conventional loan with no PMI. This could significantly reduce your monthly payments and total loan costs.
Refinance an ARM to an FRM
Some homeowners refinance to switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage.
If you have an ARM and the initial fixed-rate period is about to expire, you might want to lock in a new loan with a low fixed rate for the long term.
Refinance to a shorter loan term
Another good option is refinancing to a shorter-term loan.
If you want to pay off your mortgage early, refinancing from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan, for example, could help you shave years off your loan term. This has multiple benefits, including:
- Pay off the house early
- Drop your interest rate further
- Save money on total interest costs
On the flip side, shorter loan terms come with higher mortgage payments. So not everyone can afford this strategy.
The bottom line is that you should explore the different types of mortgages available to you. Your loan officer or mortgage broker can help you understand your options. You might be surprised at how different your savings look depending on the mortgage product you choose.
Mortgage refinancing involves a similar application process to when you bought your home.
In most cases, you’ll need to complete a full application with a mortgage lender and go through underwriting. That means the lender will check and verify your:
- Credit score
- Credit report
- Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)
- Current income and employment
- Current home value (which requires a new appraisal)
- Loan-to-value ratio (LTV)
Of course, how ‘easy’ it is to qualify for a refinance depends on the type of mortgage you choose.
For instance, credit score requirements for an FHA refinance start at just 580, while cash-out refinancing might require a credit score of at least 640. And a jumbo loan refinance might require a FICO score of 680-700 or higher.
Luckily, it’s easy to figure out if you’re refi eligible. You can get a pre-approval to verify your eligibility and refinancing options.
Many lenders offer digital applications and can pull your documents online during underwriting. Some will even do a full ‘online mortgage’ complete with digital signing on closing day.
In short, it takes much less time and effort to refinance a mortgage today than in the past.
How to find the lowest rates
The only way to find the best rate when you refinance is to shop around with different lenders.
And don’t just look at interest rates when you comparison shop. Also pay attention to:
- Discount points — Does the quote include an extra fee up front in order to lower your rate?
- Mortgage origination fees — These upfront charges vary a lot from lender to lender
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) — This rate includes your interest and loan fees, so it’s a good way to compare the total cost of two loans
- Monthly payment — Compare total monthly mortgage payments, including loan principal and interest as well as property taxes and homeowners insurance
It’s also worth checking rates from more than one type of mortgage lender.
Try getting a quote from a big bank, online lender, and credit union — maybe even a mortgage broker. Each will be able to offer you a different rate and fee package depending on your unique circumstances.
Mortgage refinance FAQs
It’s often a good idea to refinance if you can lower your interest rate and monthly payment, and if you’ll save more in the long run than you’ll spend on closing costs. However, there are other good reasons to refinance, too — like switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, shortening your loan term, or cashing out home equity. A loan officer can help run the numbers and determine if a refinance makes sense for your financial situation.
Refinancing your home means you replace your existing mortgage with a new mortgage. The new mortgage typically has a lower interest rate, better terms, or some other benefit compared to the old one. When you refinance, you shop for a new loan just like you did when you bought your home. Once you’re approved and you’ve closed on the loan, your new lender will use the funds to pay off your current lender. This effectively replaces your current home loan with the new one.
Mortgage refinance rates vary a lot from one lender to the next. They can also change on a daily basis depending on what’s happening with the broader economy and with individual lenders’ pipelines. That means the lender offering the best refinance rates can change from day to day. So your best bet is to apply with multiple lenders and compare their offers carefully to see which one has the best combo of interest rates and upfront fees for your situation.
Refinance requirements vary by lender and loan program. Depending on the type of loan you choose — conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, or jumbo — you’ll have to meet certain guidelines for credit score, home equity, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), employment, and potentially cash reserves. The best refinance rates typically go to borrowers with credit scores above 740 and at least 20 percent home equity (in other words, a loan-to-value ratio at or below 80 percent). Check with a lender to see whether you qualify for a mortgage refinance.
For a mainstream refinance, expect to pay roughly two to five percent of your loan amount in closing costs. That’s $2,000 to $5,000 for every $100,000 borrowed on your refinance loan. Government-backed Streamline refinances tend to be a little bit cheaper because you eliminate certain closing costs, such as the home appraisal fee.
Your current mortgage company might offer you the best refinance deal. Indeed, some lenders reward homeowners’ loyalty with lower rates if they stick around to refinance. However, you shouldn’t go with your current lender until you’ve seen quotes from a few others. Many homeowners save thousands by shopping around and finding a refinance company that can offer them a lower rate.
On average, it takes between 30 and 60 days to close on a refinance loan. But that varies a lot depending on how busy and efficient lenders are. How long it takes you to refinance will depend on many factors — including how quickly you turn in paperwork. In fact, late documents are one of the biggest refinance delays. So stay on top of requests from your loan officer.
Often, you can begin a new refinance before the ink’s dry on your last one. Many of the best mortgage refinance companies (and other lenders) don’t set limits between refinances. However, you’ll likely have to wait six months before refinancing if you have a VA-, FHA-, or USDA-backed loan. Some lenders enforce this limit for non-government loans, too.
Checking refinance rates will not hurt your credit score, as long as you get all rate quotes within two weeks to a month of each other. The only way your credit score could be hurt is if your mortgage is your only credit-based loan. That could impact your “average age of accounts” (AAoA). However, AAoA is only 15 percent of your credit score. And most people have other credit lines outside their mortgage. So it’s not worth losing sleep over.
Cash-out refinancing means you take out a new loan worth more than what you currently owe on the home. First, this loan is used to pay off your existing mortgage. Then the leftover amount is returned to you as cash-back. The cash can be used for any purpose; popular uses include consolidating high-interest credit card debt and completing home improvements.
It’s possible to refinance if you have a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) in addition to your first mortgage. It will be more difficult to do a cash-out refinance, however, because your second mortgage reduces the equity available in your home. Some homeowners refinance to combine their first and second mortgage into a single loan.
Only three to five percent equity may be needed to refinance a conventional loan, and 3.5 percent is required to refinance an FHA loan. This means you may be able to refinance even if you bought the home recently and made a small down payment. Refinancing with at least 20 percent equity could help you cancel mortgage insurance.
It’s not likely, but it is possible your existing mortgage came with a penalty for early repayment— especially if you got the loan before 2014. If this is the case, you’ll need to balance the penalty into your cost analysis. If your savings from refinancing exceed your costs to borrow, you can still save with a new loan.
Best refinance lenders methodology
To find the best mortgage refinance companies, we started with a list of the 50 biggest refinance lenders in 2021 (the most recent data available at the time of writing). We compared refinance companies based on third-party data including average 30-year fixed refinance rates, median total refinance loan costs, and median origination costs as well as online customer ratings and a review of each lender’s mortgage offerings by our editorial team. Average interest rates and fees were sourced from loan-level data lenders are required to file each year under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. All mortgage lender reviews are carried out independently by The Mortgage Reports’ editorial team. You can read our full editorial disclosures here.
1The Mortgage Reports Score is based on an independent review by our editorial board of each mortgage lender’s loan offerings, requirements, customer service reviews, and online accessibility
2Minimum credit score reflects the minimum score required by each lender for an FHA loan at the time of writing
3Average loan costs sourced from loan-level data lenders are required to file each year under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Data shown here represents the most recent year available at the time of writing
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.