How to Refinance Your Home Mortgage in California

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    • 1). Organize your financial documents. Create a financial packet to establish your ability to repay a refinanced loan. The loan company will ask for copies of your W-2s for the past two years, recent paystubs and bank statements. Include retirement accounts in your financial packet.

    • 2). Check your credit. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once every twelve months. Visit the website to request a copy (Reference 1). You are given the option to obtain an individual report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Dispute any errors you find on the report. Although your loan officer will also check your credit, this gives you the opportunity to correct any discrepancies that affect your credit score.

    • 3). Choose the right mortgage company. Be selective. Interview loan officers from different companies and ask for mortgage rate quotes. Most loan officers are paid on commission. Be wary of promises that sound too good to be true. Mortgage loan brokers must be licensed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). Check the DRE website to ensure the broker’s license is active (Reference 2).

    • 4). Submit a loan application. Your loan officer will gather your basic information to complete the form. She will make recommendations on a mortgage product that fits your needs, based on the information you provide and your credit report.

    • 5). Review the good faith estimate with a meticulous eye. Within three business days of submitting your loan application, the loan company is required by law to provide you with an estimated good faith estimate statement. The statement details the estimated fees you incur to refinance your loan. The fees listed are only estimates and are subject to change, but question your loan officer about items you don’t understand.

    • 6). Schedule a loan signing. Your loan officer will let you know when the underwriter has approved your refinance loan and the documents are ready to sign. Read everything you sign. Then read it again. Verify that all of the document information and fees are accurate. This includes the mortgage note, final closing statement, deed of trust and all accompanying disclosures. A notary public will acknowledge your signature on the deed of trust and other documents required by the lender. You will need a picture ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.

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