Once you’ve found a refinancing solution that fits your personal preferences, needs and budget, it’s time to apply for your loan.
Select your lender and complete your application in person or (depending on your lender) over the phone or online. You’ll provide information about yourself and anyone else who is going to be listed as a co-borrower on the mortgage (like a spouse or partner). If you’ve already been preapproved, you may already have provided some of the application details.
What you'll need
To apply for a refinance loan, you’ll need to provide your lender with documentation to help verify your employment history, creditworthiness, and overall financial situation. If you’re applying with someone else (called a co-borrower, such as your spouse), they will also need to provide the same documents. Be prepared to provide the following:
- W-2s (for the last 2 years)
- Pay stubs (covering most recent 30 days)
- Bank statements for all financial accounts, including investments (for the last 2 months, all pages)
- If self-employed, a copy of your most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement
- Most recent monthly statement for any mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit you hold on your home
Your lender may require more documents, depending on your circumstances and the type of mortgage for which you’re applying. You can expect your lender to ask you details about your employment and financial history. With your permission, your lender will also run your credit report as part of the process.
Be sure to take your time and carefully fill out the application as completely and accurately as possible. Not disclosing credit problems up-front or holding back requested documents will only delay the process and potentially prevent approval of the mortgage, so it’s to your benefit to fully disclose everything about your finances.
Locking in your interest rate
Since interest rates fluctuate frequently, things can change between the day you apply for your loan and the day you close. If you want to protect yourself against rising interest rates and ensure that the loan terms you used to build your budget are locked, you might consider locking in your rate with your lender when you fill out your loan application.
A rate lock (also known as a rate commitment) is your lender’s assurance that the interest rate and discount points are guaranteed until the rate lock expiration date. The lender will provide the terms of the rate lock to you in writing, including the agreed-upon interest rate, the length of the lock and any discount points you choose to pay.
Of course, if you believe that interest rates will decrease in the near future, waiting to lock your rate may make sense to you. In the end, it’s a personal choice when to lock your rate. The rate must be locked prior to the lender preparing your closing documents. Talk to your lender about the choice that best suits your needs and your preferences.