How to Compare Refinance Proposals and Select the Right One for You
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How to Compare Refinance Proposals and Select the Right One for You

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru
Edited by Harry Jensen
Shopping for Your Refinance

You should treat the mortgage refinance process like you would any other major purchase, such as buying a car.  Shop around, compare refinancing proposals from multiple lenders and select the best one with the best loan terms, which usually means the lowest combination of mortgage rate and closing costs. We recommend that you contact at least five lenders when comparing proposals as the more lenders you shop, the more likely you are to find the lender and mortgage that are right for you. A recent study showed that borrowers that compared at least five mortgage quotes saved an average of $3,000 on their loan as compared to borrowers that compared two lenders, who saved an average of only $1,400. In short, the more lenders you compare, the more money you save on when you refinance.

It takes extra time to compare and negotiate mortgage proposals but spending an extra hour or two can save you thousands of dollars. For example, on a $300,000 30 year fixed rate mortgage, reducing your interest rate by just .125% will save you almost $8,000 in interest expense over the life of your mortgage.  Follow the steps below to negotiate the best terms for your mortgage:

When you compare refinance proposals keep in mind that interest rates and closing costs vary by loan program and length. For example, a fixed rate mortgage typically has a higher interest rate than an adjustable rate mortgage. In some cases borrowers consider different types and lengths of mortgages so be sure you are comparing similar programs when you select your lender and loan. Additionally, make sure the cost items, including discount points which you may choose to pay to lower your mortgage rate, are the same across all lenders so it is easier to compare proposals.

The table below compares refinance rates and closing costs for leading lenders. We recommend that you contact multiple lenders in the table to request refinance terms. Shopping lenders is the best way to save money when you refinance.

Current Refinance Mortgage Rates in Ashburn, Virginia as of May 17, 2024
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Rate data provided by RateUpdate.com. Displayed by ICB, a division of Mortgage Research Center, NMLS #1907, Equal Housing Opportunity. Payments do not include taxes, insurance premiums or private mortgage insurance if applicable. Actual payments will be greater with taxes and insurance included. Read through our lender table disclaimer for more information on rates and product details.
Where to Find Information to Compare Refinance Proposals

The table below shows you where on the Loan Estimate you can find 1) the interest rate, 2) estimated closing costs, and 3) the APR. These are the most important items to review when you review refinance proposals. Your interest rate determines your monthly payment and total interest over the life of your mortgage. Closing costs are the fees you pay when your loan closes and can run thousands of dollars for most refinances. The APR is basically away to look at your combined interest rate and closing costs using one figure. Comparing these figures for multiple proposals helps you select the mortgage and refinance lender that are right for you. Click on the rectangle icons to see where each figure is located on the Loan Estimate.

Key mortgage costs items

Interest Rate
Loan Estimate (LE)
  • One of the first items on the LE and easy to compare across lenders because it is a single figure
Closing Costs

Loan Estimate (LE)
  • Total of all closing costs including lender, appraisal and title fees as well as any taxes, prepaids and escrow payments
  • Found at the bottom of page one of the LE
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Loan Estimate (LE)
  • The APR represents what your interest rate would be if it included all up-front lender and closing costs
  • Use the APR to compare mortgage proposals from multiple lenders
  • If you have proposals from two lenders that are offering the same interest rate but one APR is higher than the other, then you know the lender with the higher APR is charging higher closing costs
  • Found at the top of page three of the LE

Use our free mortgage quote form to compare no obligation refinance quotes from leading lenders. Our quote form is easy-to-use, requires minimal personal information and does not impact your credit. Comparing multiple refinance proposals enables you to find the best mortgage terms.

Get Free Personalized Mortgage Quotes

  • Compare Offers
  • Save Money
  • No Obligation


“Comparing loan offers.”  CFPB.  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2017.  Web.

About the author
Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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