In addition to a cash-out refinance, borrowers also have the option of arranging a separate loan to finance a major purchase. In many situations it may not make financial sense to do a cash-out refinance to pay for significant items such as a new car, college tuition or home renovations. Depending on the interest rate and term for your existing mortgage and the separate loan as compared to the cash-out refinance, you may end up paying much more in total interest if you refinance.
This is because by doing a cash-out refinance you are effectively replacing the separate loan, which is usually shorter in length (for example, the length of a car loan is typically five-to-seven years) with a new mortgage, which is longer in length -- typically 15-to-30 years. You are also extending the length of your original mortgage. For example if you are ten years into a 30 year mortgage and you refinance that loan with a new 30 year mortgage, it effectively takes you 40 years to pay off your original mortgage. The longer the length of a loan, the more interest expense you pay over the life of the loan.
The key factors that determine whether you should use a cash-out refinance or keep your current mortgage and finance a major purchase with a separate loan are the interest rates and terms for the mortgages and the separate loan as well as the combined monthly payments for the loans. Even in cases where a refinanced mortgage rate is lower than the interest rate for a separate loan (for example the new mortgage rate is lower than the interest rate on a car loan), you can end up paying more in total interest expense over the life of the refinanced mortgage if the term of the mortgage is longer than the separate loan. Additionally, it is important to highlight that the mortgage rate on a cash-out refinance is usually higher than the interest rate for a standard refinance.
There may be a trade-off between having a lower monthly payment for a set number of years and paying more in total interest over the life of the new mortgage. For example, if you do a cash-out refinance you may have a lower monthly payment, at least initially, than if you kept your existing mortgage in place and obtained a separate five year car loan. In the long term, however, if you obtained a separate car loan, the combined debt payments for your mortgage and car loan would decrease in five years after you paid off the car loan.
Because most mortgages have longer terms than other types of loans, a cash-out refinance can cost thousands of dollars more in total interest expense than a separate loan even if the loan has a higher interest rate
The total interest expense would also be much lower because you did not extend finance your car purchase with a new mortgage, which effectively would have turned a five year car loan into a 30 year loan, significantly increasing your total interest expense. Even if loans with shorter terms such as student, car and personal loans have a higher interest rate, they may save you money in the long run as compared to a 30 year mortgage.
In an ideal scenario a cash-out refinance enables you to reduce your mortgage rate or length, allowing you to reduce your monthly payment and total interest expense and access the equity in your home. Otherwise, it may make more sense and save you money over the long term to keep your current mortgage in place and obtain separate loan.
The table below compares refinance loan terms for lenders in your area. We recommend that you request refinance proposals from multiple lenders in the table to find the best terms including the lowest mortgage rate and fees. Shopping multiple lenders and comparing proposals is the best way to save money when you refinance.
The two examples below compare a cash-out refinance to keeping you current mortgage in place and obtaining a separate $50,000 college tuition loan with a 7.0% interest rate:
In the first example, the borrower needs to decide if the lower monthly payment for the first ten years of the refinanced mortgage is more important than paying $117,600 more in total interest expense over the life of the new mortgage as compared to not refinancing and obtaining a separate college tuition loan.
In the second example, it makes financial sense for the borrower to do a cash-out refinance. Refinancing a mortgage with a significantly lower mortgage rate enables the borrower to lower his or her monthly mortgage payment and reduce total interest expense over the life of the mortgage by more than $25,000 as compared to not refinancing and obtaining a separate college tuition loan.
Review the summaries below each example to understand the importance of mortgage rate and loan length when evaluating a cash-out refinance as compared to keeping your current mortgage in place and obtaining a separate loan.
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"Cash-out Refinance." Origination & Underwriting. Freddie Mac, 2020. Web.