Have you recently looked into your wallet and noticed there is less money in there? Not because your teenagers are cleaning you out but because the economy (and times in general) are just tougher. Because of this situation and the current market for homes and interest rates, it may be the time you have waited for to refinance, using the VA’s VA Streamline IRRRL loan. IRRRL stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. This is not a new program; the VA has offered it for years and years. Because interest rates are so low right now, many people are finally getting around to it and in some cases taking advantage of the program again from just a couple years ago.
Let’s look at the program.
The VA allows for current VA mortgage holders in good standing, those who have been current on their payments for 12 months, and those who have had the loan for less than 12 months can still qualify, just have to meet qualifications that include that the refinance is beneficial to the borrower.
Commonly having a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) make the process more difficult but not necessarily impossible. You see because these liens are subordinate to the current first mortgage- the VA loan- the lien holder on the 2nd or HELOC has to agree to remain in a second lien position when the VA loan is refinanced. This is called subordination. Most companies agree to subordinate to the new VA first mortgage.
Ok so let’s continue to look at how the refinance can put cash in your pocket. As part of the refinance process the current VA loan servicer, the company that the payments are made to now, will be paid off. When that loan is paid off, the interest that is due on a payoff is included. So commonly, there are two months in which the veteran/homeowner will not have to make payments, they are simply deferred. That frees up two months worth of current house payments, in some cases like with larger loans that could free up $5000 or more.
Next, as part of that payoff to the current servicer, they are no longer able or required to pay out escrows, tax and insurance payments, on the loan. So they will return whatever is left in the escrow account when the higher refinanced loan is paid off. The new loan includes those prepaid taxes and insurance built into the loan so when the new payment comes due, there are already taxes and insurance built into the account for when they are due later that year.
So let me give you an example with actual numbers. I have a client where the current monthly payment on their 6.25% loan is $1956. They will not have to make that payment for the next two months since the interest is included in the payoff, so $1956 x 2= $3912. Then the escrows refund is $4623. So $3912 + $4623=$8535 cash in their pocket from the VA streamline rate reduction refinance.
You can see how easy it is to put money in your pocket from taking advantage of the VA refinance program. Oh yeah don’t forget this example above, not only are they putting $8535 in their pocket but they are also lowering their monthly payment by $276 a month