November 2, 2014
Reported by Liku Zelleke
Robert Powell is a journalist and personal finance expert. He serves as the president of Unison, LLC, a communications and consulting firm out of Salem, Massachusetts. Also, he executive produces PBS’ “More Than Money “, a TV series on personal finance. He writes articles and columns for various news media including, the Wall Street Journal. the Financial Times. MarketWatch. Your Money. the Boston Herald and the Boston Business Journal .
Powell also answers questions on personal finance topics from readers of USA TODAY .
A question that was asked by one such reader was “How long does it take to refinance a mortgage? ”
In response, Powell, quoting the president of AMC Mortgage and president of the National Association of Mortgage brokers, John Councilman, says it normally takes between 30 and 45 days for a conventional loan to go through.
But as anyone taking out a loan of any sorts knows, things don’t always proceed “normally”.
As Councilman explains, “However, there are many variables that can lengthen
that time. Appraisers can take longer in some areas, (and) self-employed borrowers take more time. Explaining credit issues to the underwriter’s satisfaction, bank deposits that are not attributable to their job and the like all can add to the turn time.”
This doesn’t mean loan-seekers should sit twiddling their thumbs and do nothing during the whole process – they can lessen the time if they play a more active part in it.
“One factor that can shorten or lengthen the time is how quickly and adequately the borrower returns documents, disclosures and requests for information,” Councilman says.
The Federal Reserve Board advises people to take the time to understand all that is involved in refinancing before they even begin the mortgage refinancing process. A home is almost always a person’s most valuable asset. This makes it critical that the loan-seeker be careful when choosing a lender or broker and specific mortgage terms. They should also remember that “along with the potential benefits to refinancing, there are also costs.”
Visit the Federal Reserve Board site for more detailed information.