Cash-Out Refinance: Easy Mortgage Terms for 2023

Cash-Out Refinance

Unraveling the Mystery

A cash-out refinance is an appealing option for many homeowners looking to access their home equity. This guide aims to explain what a cash-out refinance is, how it works, and the benefits and drawbacks associated with this financial tool. We will also provide examples and resources to help you determine if a cash-out refinance is right for you.

What Is a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance is a mortgage refinancing option that allows homeowners to replace their current mortgage with a new loan for more than they owe on their property. The difference between the old and new loan amounts is then given to the homeowner as cash, which can be used for various purposes such as debt consolidation, home improvements, or major expenses.

Comparing Cash-Out Refinance with Other Options

There are other ways to tap into your home’s equity, such as a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Here’s a brief comparison between these options and a cash-out refinance:

  1. Cash-Out Refinance: Replaces your current mortgage with a new loan, with the difference given as cash. Typically offers lower interest rates than home equity loans or HELOCs.
  2. Home Equity Loan: A separate loan that uses your home’s equity as collateral. This results in a second mortgage on your property, with a fixed interest rate and a fixed repayment term.
  3. HELOC: A revolving line of credit that uses your home’s equity as collateral. Offers adjustable interest rates and allows you to borrow as needed.
What Is A Cash Out Refinance?

How Does a Cash-Out Refinance Work?

To understand how a cash-out refinance works, let’s use an example:

Suppose you have a home worth $400,000 and a remaining mortgage balance of $200,000. You have $200,000 in home equity ($400,000 – $200,000). If you decide to do a cash-out refinance and borrow up to 80% of your home’s value, you can get a new loan for $320,000. The difference between your old loan ($200,000) and your new loan ($320,000) is $120,000, which is given to you as cash.

To calculate a cash-out refinance, you can use a cash-out refinance calculator.

Loan Types for Cash-Out Refinance

There are various loan types available for cash-out refinancing, including FHA cash-out refinance, VA cash-out refinance, and conventional cash-out refinance. Each loan type comes with its own requirements, benefits, and limitations.

Benefits of Cash-Out Refinancing

  1. Lower Interest Rates: Cash-out refinance rates are generally lower than those for home equity loans or HELOCs, which can result in significant interest savings over time.
  2. Debt Consolidation: By using the cash from a cash-out refinance to pay off high-interest debts, you can save money on interest and simplify your monthly payments.
  3. Home Improvements: The cash from a cash-out refinance can be used to make home improvements that can increase the value of your property.
  4. Tax Benefits: The interest on a cash-out refinance may be tax-deductible if the funds are used for home improvements, as it’s considered mortgage interest. However, it’s essential to consult with a tax professional to determine your eligibility for these deductions.
  5. Flexible Use of Funds: Unlike specific-purpose loans, such as home improvement loans, the cash from a cash-out refinance can be used for various purposes, giving you the flexibility to address your financial needs as they arise.
  6. One Monthly Payment: When you consolidate debts or replace your existing mortgage with a cash-out refinance, you’ll only have one monthly payment to manage, making it easier to keep track of your finances.
  7. Improved Cash Flow: A cash-out refinance can potentially reduce your monthly mortgage payment, freeing up cash for other expenses or savings goals.
  8. Longer Repayment Terms: If you opt for a cash-out refinance with a longer repayment term, your monthly payments may be lower, making it more manageable in your budget. Keep in mind, though, that a longer term may result in higher overall interest payments.
  9. Fixed Interest Rate: With a cash-out refinance, you can lock in a fixed interest rate, providing stability and predictability in your monthly payments.

Ultimately, the benefits of a cash-out refinance depend on your unique financial situation and goals. It’s essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons, consult with a financial professional, and choose the best option to meet your needs.

Unlocking the Value of Your Home: The Power of Cash-Out Refinance

Owning a home comes with a unique benefit: building home equity. This equity can be tapped into by leveraging a cash-out refinance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore cash-out refinancing, including its rates, requirements, and how it compares to other financing options like HELOCs and home equity loans.

The Basics: What is a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance involves replacing your current mortgage with a new one, typically at a lower interest rate. It allows homeowners to borrow against their home equity by taking out a new mortgage for more than they currently owe, receiving the difference in cash. This lump sum can then be used for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or other financial needs.

How Does a Cash-Out Refinance Work?

To better understand the process, let’s dive into an example. Suppose you have a mortgage balance of $200,000 on a home worth $400,000. You have $200,000 in equity (50% of the home’s value). In a cash-out refinance, you could potentially refinance the mortgage for up to 80% of the home’s value ($320,000). You would then receive the difference between the new mortgage and your current balance ($120,000) in cash.

Keep in mind that the specific terms and conditions, such as maximum loan-to-value ratios (LTV), will vary by lender and loan type, including government-backed options like VA cash-out refinance and FHA cash-out refinance.

Cash-Out Refinance Rates and Costs

Cash-out refinance rates generally depend on factors like your credit score, income, property value, and overall financial health. Current cash-out refinance rates can be compared with other loan products to determine the best option for your situation. Keep in mind that, in addition to interest rates, cash-out refinances may involve closing costs and fees, such as origination and appraisal fees.

Cash Out Refinance Home Loan

Crunching the Numbers: Cash-Out Refinance Calculators

To determine if a cash-out refinance is a viable option for you, it’s essential to evaluate your financial situation and calculate potential savings. The following tools can help:

These calculators are a great starting point, but it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable mortgage professional for personalized guidance.

Weighing Your Options: Cash-Out Refinance vs. HELOC vs. Home Equity Loan

Before diving into a cash-out refinance, it’s essential to understand the alternatives, such as home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans. Each has its pros and cons, so let’s compare the options.

Cash-Out Refinance vs. HELOC
  • A cash-out refinance provides a lump sum, while a HELOC offers a revolving line of credit that you can borrow against as needed.
  • Cash-out refinances typically have lower interest rates than HELOCs, but they often come with higher closing costs.
  • HELOCs have a draw period (usually 5-10 years) during which you can borrow and make interest-only payments, followed by a repayment period when you pay back the principal and interest.
  • A cash-out refinance requires you to replace your existing mortgage, while a HELOC is a separate loan in addition to your current mortgage.
Cash-Out Refinance vs. Home Equity Loan
  • A cash-out refinance offers a lump sum, as does a home equity loan. However, a home equity loan is a separate loan from your mortgage, while a cash-out refinance replaces your existing mortgage.
  • Cash-out refinances typically have lower interest rates than home equity loans.
  • Home equity loans often have lower closing costs than cash-out refinances.
  • Home equity loans have fixed interest rates and terms, while cash-out refinance rates can be fixed or adjustable.

Requirements for a Cash-Out Refinance

To qualify for a cash-out refinance, you’ll need to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • Credit score: Lenders typically require a minimum credit score of 620, though higher scores may result in better rates.
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): Most lenders require a maximum LTV of 80%, meaning you’ll need at least 20% equity in your home.
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): Lenders generally prefer a DTI below 43%, though some may accept higher ratios with compensating factors.
  • Income and employment: You’ll need to provide proof of income and stable employment to qualify.
  • Appraisal: An appraisal will be required to determine the current value of your home.

Pros and Cons of Cash-Out Refinancing

Before deciding on a cash-out refinance, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons.


  1. Potential for lower interest rates compared to other financing options.
  2. Access to a large lump sum of cash for various purposes.
  3. Potential tax benefits if the funds are used for home improvements.
  4. Ability to consolidate high-interest debt into a single, lower-interest payment.
  5. Opportunity to shorten or extend the term of your mortgage.


  1. Closing costs and fees, which can be substantial.
  2. Replacing your existing mortgage may result in a longer repayment period.
  3. Risk of foreclosure if you’re unable to make the new mortgage payments.
  4. May not be the best option if you plan to sell your home soon, as it could take time to recoup the closing costs.

Ultimately, a cash-out refinance can be a powerful tool for homeowners looking to tap into their home equity for various financial needs. By understanding the process, rates, and requirements, as well as comparing alternatives like HELOCs and home equity loans, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that best suits your financial goals.

Cash Out Mortgage

The Cash-Out Refinance Process

The cash-out refinance process typically follows these steps:

  1. Research and compare lenders: Start by researching different lenders and comparing their cash-out refinance rates, fees, and requirements.
  2. Get prequalified: Reach out to lenders and request a prequalification, which will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and the interest rates you may qualify for. This step typically requires a credit check, so be prepared to provide your Social Security number and other personal information.
  3. Submit an application: Once you’ve chosen a lender, submit a formal application. You’ll need to provide documentation such as pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, and bank statements to verify your income, assets, and debts. The lender will also check your credit report and score.
  4. Home appraisal: The lender will order a home appraisal to determine the current value of your property. This step is crucial because the appraised value will affect the maximum amount you can cash out.
  5. Underwriting: The underwriting process involves a thorough review of your financial situation, credit history, and the property’s appraisal. The underwriter will determine whether to approve or deny your application based on this information.
  6. Closing: If your application is approved, you’ll move on to the closing stage. At closing, you’ll sign the final loan documents, pay any closing costs, and receive your cash-out funds. Keep in mind that you might be able to roll some or all of the closing costs into the new loan balance.

Cash-Out Refinance Rates Today

Cash-out refinance rates fluctuate daily and can vary by lender, your credit score, and other factors. To get an idea of the rates available today, visit lender websites, use a cash-out refinance calculator, or reach out to a mortgage broker. It’s essential to shop around and compare rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Cash-Out Refinance Taxes

One common question is whether you need to pay taxes on the money you receive from a cash-out refinance. The answer is typically no, as the funds are considered a loan and not taxable income. However, if you use the cash for home improvements, you may be able to deduct the interest paid on your new mortgage, subject to IRS rules and limitations. Be sure to consult a tax professional for specific advice on your situation.

Cash-Out Refinance for Investment Properties

A cash-out refinance for investment properties can be an excellent strategy for real estate investors looking to leverage their property’s equity to finance renovations, purchase additional properties, or pay off high-interest debt. Keep in mind that cash-out refinance rates and requirements for investment properties may differ from those for primary residences. Lenders typically require higher credit scores, lower LTV ratios, and charge higher interest rates for investment property cash-out refinances.

Cash-Out Refinance for Bad Credit

While a high credit score can help you secure a better cash-out refinance rate, it is still possible to refinance with bad credit. Some lenders offer cash-out refinances for borrowers with a credit score as low as 500, but be prepared for higher interest rates and stricter requirements. To improve your chances of approval, consider taking steps to improve your credit score before applying, such as paying down high-interest debt and ensuring all bills are paid on time.

Cash-Out Refinance vs. Home Equity Loan

A cash-out refinance and a home equity loan are both ways to tap into your home’s equity, but they differ in several ways:

  1. Interest rates: Cash-out refinance rates are typically lower than home equity loan rates because they involve replacing your primary mortgage, while a home equity loan is a second mortgage.
  2. Closing costs: Closing costs for cash-out refinances can be higher than those for home equity loans because they involve a new first mortgage. However, some lenders may allow you to roll the closing costs into the loan balance, reducing your out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Loan terms: Cash-out refinance terms can vary widely, from 10 to 30 years, while home equity loans typically have shorter terms, ranging from 5 to 15 years.
  4. Tax implications: Both cash-out refinance and home equity loan interest may be tax-deductible if used for home improvements, but consult a tax professional for advice specific to your situation.
  5. Impact on credit: A cash-out refinance can have a more significant impact on your credit score, as it involves opening a new mortgage account and closing the existing one, which can affect your credit history. On the other hand, a home equity loan adds a new account without closing the existing mortgage, potentially having a less adverse effect on your credit score.

Risks of a Cash-Out Refinance

While a cash-out refinance can provide financial benefits, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks:

  1. Higher monthly payments: If you increase your loan balance and extend your loan term, you may end up with higher monthly payments, even if you secure a lower interest rate.
  2. Longer repayment period: If you choose a longer loan term to lower your monthly payments, you may end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.
  3. Loss of equity: By tapping into your home’s equity, you reduce the amount you own outright, which could impact your financial flexibility in the future.
  4. Foreclosure risk: As with any mortgage, if you fail to make your payments on a cash-out refinance, you risk losing your home to foreclosure.

Before moving forward with a cash-out refinance, carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider consulting a financial professional for guidance.

Mortgage Statistics and Government Resources

If you’re considering a cash-out refinance, it’s helpful to understand the broader mortgage market and related resources. Here are some statistics and government resources to help you stay informed:

  • According to the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in the United States in 2021 was 3.11% (source).
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides comprehensive information on mortgage-related topics, including refinancing options and consumer protections. Visit their website for more information.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers resources for homeowners, including counseling services and information on government-backed loan programs, such as FHA and VA loans. Visit their website for more information..
Cash Out Refinance Mortgage

Mortgage Terms and Learning

If you’re new to the mortgage world or want to deepen your understanding of various mortgage terms and concepts, be sure to visit our comprehensive Mortgage Terms page. This resource will provide you with detailed explanations and examples of the most common mortgage terms, helping you make informed decisions and navigate the mortgage process with confidence.

Apply for a Cash-Out Refinance with Mortgage Rater Now!

If you’ve determined that a cash-out refinance is the right choice for your financial situation, it’s time to take the next step and apply for a loan with Mortgage Rater. Our experienced team of mortgage professionals will help guide you through the application process, ensuring you find the best loan option for your needs. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage your home’s equity and improve your financial situation. Apply for a loan with Mortgage Rater today and let us help you achieve your financial goals.

Donavon Warren

Donavon Warren

Donavon Warren is a seasoned finance professional with over 20 years of experience. Before embarking into the mortgage industry Donavon attended UCLA. He is the owner of Mortgage Rater, a leading mortgage finance company that offers a range of informational services to clients across the United States. As a finance and mortgage author, Donavon brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to the platform, writing about various topics related to personal finance, investments, home loans, FHA loans, VA loans, 30 Year Fixed rates, no-interest loans, mortgages and more. With his insights and expertise, he aims to educate and empower readers to make informed financial decisions that can help them achieve their financial and mortgage goals. NMLS#2470202
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