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Cash Out Refinance: How to Know if it's Time

January 5, 2021

Traditional refinancing entails swapping out your current debt, often a mortgage, for another loan with better terms. For example, many people choose to refinance their homes when housing market interest rates drop so they can pay less money in the long run.

What is a cash-out refinance, though? It’s a little different. Instead of trying to pay less, you borrow more than your house is worth and use the extra money for other debts, purchases, or payments.

How do you know if acquiring funds this way is right for you? If it is, when is the best time to do it? Let’s dive into why people choose to go through this process.

What is a Cash-Out Refinance?

You might use a typical term-and-rate refinance to exchange your mortgage for one with lower monthly payments or another benefit. However, a cash-out refinance means you switch out your mortgage for a larger one.

Why would anyone want to borrow a bigger mortgage? It’s a way to access the value of your home that you own through a loan instead of selling it. If you have paid off any part of your mortgage, then you have built “equity.” You cannot use your home’s equity to make purchases in illiquid form, so taking out another loan and using your equity as collateral allows you to use that value as cash.

How Does a Cash-Out Refinance Work?

Next, how does a cash-out refinance work? Most lenders limit the amount you can cash out to between 80% and 90% of your property’s equity, so you cannot withdraw as much as you might hope.

Because you are borrowing against your equity, you need to have accumulated a sufficient amount (in other words, you have paid off a sizable portion of your mortgage). It’s also advisable to keep around (and sometimes required) 15-20% of your equity once the process is complete. For example, if your home is worth $400,000, you could take out another loan worth 80% of your home’s value, which is $320,000. How much money you have left to spend on other things depends on your mortgage balance. If you have $150,000 in equity and $250,000 left to pay, you would have $70,000 left over.

What Can You Use a Cash-Out Refinance For?

How you use your refinance money is up to you. Many people use their new cash to pay for:

  • Outstanding bills and debts, including credit cards
  • Make a significant purchase, such as a vehicle
  • College tuition
  • Major home renovations.

Do you want to modernize your kitchen but can’t afford to? Do you want to go back to school but don’t want to burden yourself with high-interest student loans? While there are other options you should consider first, cash-out refinancing can provide you with the funds you need for significant expenses.

Is it Necessary for Me to Cash-Out Refinance?

No, it is not strictly necessary for anyone to exchange their mortgages for a larger one and withdraw the difference. You might hear of your neighbors and friends refinancing their homes in the traditional sense because the market is optimal, but the cash-out variety is not a trend you need to jump on if you don’t need to.

People have different reasons to refinance their homes this way. Some might owe a wide variety of debts and want to consolidate. Others might have fallen on hard times and need a large sum of money as soon as possible, but they don’t have any other options than to sell their possessions if they don’t want to move. They cannot sell their equity, though, so the best option is to use it as collateral for another loan.

You might be considering cash-out refinancing because delays in receiving your paycheck have made you miss important payments. You had to dip into your savings, which you prefer not to do, but having larger savings from your home’s equity could be useful in the immediate future. Instead, you can turn to apps like Earnin that allow you to access your money on time, up to $500 per pay period. Instead of doing a cash-out refinance to borrow a large sum to pay off monthly bills, you can use Earnin to take out your own earnings.

What are the Disadvantages of Cash-Out Refinancing?

There are several disadvantages to consider before you cash-out refinance. One of them is closing costs, which are typically between 2% and 5% of your loan and can, therefore, amount to thousands of dollars. Similar to how you must pay for private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% when buying a house, you will have to pay for PMI if you borrow more than 80% of your property’s value.

Time is also an essential factor. It may take longer to pay off your house, and your monthly mortgage payment could increase. Though interest rates associated with this kind of refinancing may be lower than HELOCs or home equity loans, your lender might charge you a higher interest rate than the first time around.

Cash-out refinancing has its uses, but consider the pros and cons carefully and talk with a financial advisor before deciding it’s right for you.


Photo by todd kent on Unsplash

Please note, the material collected in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as or construed as advice regarding any specific circumstances. Nor is it an endorsement of any organization or Services.

1Disclaimer: Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

2Disclaimer: Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information visit earnin.com/TOS.

3NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit https://www.earnin.com/wewin/. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a Earnin ®), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

4Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit earnin.com/TOS.

5Source: Internal analysis conducted by Earnin on December 10, 2020.

1Restrictions on use of Services and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/ privacyandterms for details.

2Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/privacyandterms.

3Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% APY and $0 monthly fee service. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/privacyandterms for details.

1Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

2Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

3Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and your daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

4NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit WeWin Game & Sweepstakes Official Rules. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a EarninⓇ), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

5Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Your Tip Yourself Account and any Tip Jars are not Savings Accounts. For more information/details visit earnin.com/tos.

6Up to two days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer’s payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit earnin.com/tos.

7Your Max on Earnin Express is up to 80% of your payroll or $1000, whichever is less. The 80% is dependent on you routing your full paycheck to Earnin Express. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit earnin.com/TOS.

8By using Cash Back Rewards (powered by Empyr) you allow participating merchants and/or card networks details of your transactions. For more information, see Earnin.com/tos.

9Learn how we collect and use your information by visiting our Privacy Policy.

1Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see earnin.com/tos for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

2Disclaimer: Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details

3Disclaimer: Community Member must have had at least 1 successful debit with Earnin. Limit to 1 Max Boost per pay period. A boost will not adjust a Community member's daily max. Restrictions may apply, see earnin.com/tos for more details

*Disclaimer: Balance Shield cash out is subject toyour available earnings and daily pay period max.Other restrictions and/or thirdparty fees may apply. For more information visit earnin.com/TOS

1Restrictions may apply, see earnin.com/tos for more details. Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Your Tip Yourself Account and any Tip Jars are not Savings Accounts. For more information/details visit earnin.com/tos

2Disclaimer: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit https://www.earnin.com/wewin/game-rules/. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a Earnin), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

3Disclaimer: Restrictions Apply. See earnin.com/tos for more information

*Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit earnin.com/TOS.

**Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see earnin.com/tos for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

*(*) Internal analysis conducted by Earnin in January 2021, represents total users who Cashed Out at least once from January 1 to December 31, 2020.

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