Working with your lender to refinance

As with your current mortgage, you will work with a lender through all stages of the refinance process. Whether it is the same lender or a new one is up to you.

Your lender was a key player on your homebuying team, helping you find the right home at the right price and staying with you during every step of the homebuying process. With a refinance, you will work with a lender again — from submitting the initial application until the day you close.

However, you are not required to refinance your current mortgage through your existing lender.

In fact, it’s highly recommended that you meet with and get a loan estimate from more than one lender to find the loan that’s best for you. This will allow you to compare the total costs, the annual percentage rate (APR) and the total interest percentage offered by each lender. By shopping around, you’ll be more comfortable and confident with your decision.

Once you select your lender and lock down your loan type and terms, you’ll work with them in the same way you did throughout your original purchase, including completing the Uniform Residential Loan Application.

If it’s been some time since your home purchase, here’s a refresher on the application process and what you can expect.

  1. You’ll work with your lender to complete your loan application. You’ll need to gather the following information:

    • At least one month of paystubs.
    • Two years of W-2s.
    • Statements from all bank and investment accounts.
    • Most recent tax returns.
    • Proof of any supplemental income.
    • A copy of your homeowners insurance policy.
    • Most recent mortgage statement.


  2. Your lender will submit your information for approval, using the 4 C’s, housing expense ratio and debt-to-income ratio to assess your eligibility.

  3. Within three days of completing your application, your lender will send you disclosure statements that include the terms of your loan, all estimated costs, your APR and payment schedule.

  4. If your loan is approved, your lender will schedule an appraisal to determine the current market value of the home.

  5. Your loan will proceed to the underwriting stage when your documentation is double checked — ensuring it's complete and accurate.

  6. You'll proceed to closing and can expect a very similar experience from closing on your original loan.

The entire process typically takes 30 to 45 days. However, being prepared and responsive to your lender's communications and questions can help shorten the process.

Closing your loan