Steps to Refinancing

Talk to a Mortgage Professional

Having been on both sides of the “barricades,” we would recommend talking to an experienced mortgage broker who can simply walk you through the steps to refinancing your home. 

An experienced mortgage broker will afford you the ability to shop for the best rate among many different lenders. In addition, a mortgage broker will, in most instances, be processing your loan in his or her office locally — not in a different state or, as is the case sometimes, a different country. A good mortgage broker will also make recommendations based on experience and save you money.

Here’s a real-time example: just recently, we worked with a client whose homeowner’s insurance agent provided a quote for $1,900, which seemed higher than usual for this borrower’s type of property. We suggested that the borrower shop around and, in the end, saved him $700 per year on his homeowner’s insurance policy. 


Ready to Take the Steps
to Refinancing Your Home?

At Opportune, Inc., when you plan to refinance your home, we recommend consulting with a team that has decades of experience. If you live Chicago, greater Chicagoland, or anywhere in Illinois, you should work with a trusted local lender that can help you with your home refinancing process.

Prepare Your Documents

Generally, your mortgage professional will request the documents that are required to underwrite your loan and go through the pre-approval and pre-qualification processes. These documents may include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • Two most recent years’ W2z and/or tax returns 
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • Two most recent bank statements 
  • Recent mortgage statements
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance and homeowner’s association fee (if applicable)
  • A copy of ID
  • Appraisal

Most of the time, when a loan is approved through the Automated Underwriting System, the system decides if an appraisal is needed. Sometimes, the system provides an appraisal waiver if it feels that the value indicated on a loan application meets its valuation algorithm’s assessment. If the appraisal is required, your broker will request a copy of your credit card to pay for this appraisal, if needed.


*DO NOT TRUST ZILLOW estimates when it comes to appraised value. 


Be Patient When Refinancing

In today’s day and age, getting a loan approved can be a tedious process. Banks are stricter with their underwriting and often have overlays that are even stricter than secondary market guidelines from Freddie and Fannie. There are myriad government regulations that dictate when you may or may not close (TRID), which disclosures need to be sent, and when certain conditions need to be met. These regulations were put in place after The Great Recession to protect borrowers. Just bear with the process. While it may seem daunting, and indeed it can be, a good loan officer will take the stress upon his or her own shoulders so you don’t need to.

Have questions? Let's chat, instead.

Getting a Better Interest Rate For Refinancing

Your rate depends on many factors. Your credit score, down payment, the type of property (i.e. single-family detached phone vs a condo, etc.), second liens, and the transaction type are just some of the factors that weigh in. It is for this reason it is so important to meet with your mortgage broker a couple of months prior to shopping for, or, planning to purchase a home. There are ways to get prepared should your credit score be lower, or your assets are not in place. A good mortgage broker will make recommendations on how to handle your credit issues so you can obtain a better rate. 

Also, unlike a retail bank, a mortgage broker can shop your rate with many different lenders, thereby facilitating access to the most competitive rates in the industry. There are many lenders that do not have a retail presence, therefore can offer borrowers more favorable rates. Leveraging the assistance of a mortgage broker gives you access to greater choices, and therefore, better rates and terms.  There are also many different scenarios that a broker is equipped to handle, i.e. self-employed individuals, people with lower credit scores, investment properties, etc. 


Choosing The Right Mortgage Lender

Often, your real estate agent will recommend a mortgage lender. Our suggestion is to always shop around regardless and check with several lenders to get a complete picture of your unique loan and rate options. A real estate agent may have your best interests in mind, but you still owe it to yourself to shop around, just like you would for most other products. Especially that your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. 

Still not convinced?

Contact us for additional steps to refinancing your home.

Our Happy Customers

With over 50 five star reviews, our customer ratings speak for themselves. We’ve served hundreds of Chicagoland and Illinois clients and we’re excited to work with you.

I cannot sing their praises enough! Through Eugene's ingenuity and never-give-up attitude, he found creative solutions to help us obtain our first mortgage when every other loan officer we'd worked with prior, had failed to deliver. Now, we're on the second go around with Opportune, having just refinanced and couldn't be happier with the smooth process and amazing rate Eugene was able to secure for us. We love the team here -- responsive, caring and professional. We'll never go anywhere else for our financing needs and neither should you!
Tiffany Gabbay
Happy Customer
Loved working with Barb at Opportune throughout our mortgage process. She was careful to point out various details we may have missed as 1st time home buyers, connected us with appropriate lenders quickly and was with us every step of the way. Happy to report that we now have our own house, due to in no small part Barb and team. Kudos and thank you!
Arka Pattanayak
Happy Customer
It's no wonder there are only 5 star reviews here. I worked with Barb Patterson and she was absolutely fantastic!! As someone entering the home buying process with absolutely no idea of how much I could even afford she walked me through every step and fought for me to get the best possible deal. My closing team commented that the loan cleared faster than they've ever seen because of how well Barb handled everything. Cant recommend her enough!
Deanna Brackman
Happy Customer