Does Refinancing Hurt Your Credit
Tanya February 29, 2024

Does Refinancing Hurt Your Credit? Master It With These Tips!

◾ Refinancing will hurt your credit score, but temporarily. As a matter of fact, there are several long-term advantages to refinancing, regardless of whether you want to refinance a mortgage or a home.

◾ Making on-time payments and looking into other loan possibilities within a 45-day timeframe are two good methods to safeguard your credit score when refinancing. By doing this, you can lessen the negative effects of hard queries on your credit report.

Refinancing the old loan by replacing it with a new one is like buying a new car and forgetting about it. It is very beneficial, especially for things such as home or student loans that are characterized by huge sums of money, where even small reductions in interest rates can result in huge savings. There could be potential for homeowners to save money on refinancing and reconstruction works, through which the value of their property might go up. But before you make any decision, remember how refinance works and how it would affect your finances.

How Refinancing Impacts Your Credit Score?

Any application may possibly affect your credit, so be cautious when traversing this path. Evaluate factors like a mortgage refinance or auto refinancing at length before making any quick decisions.

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Negative Impact of Refinancing

  • Hard Inquiries: Hard inquiries are the correct answer when you wonder if refinancing damages your credit and how it occurs. When you apply for a loan, the lender typically conducts a hard inquiry, potentially lowering your credit score.
  • New Credit Account: If your refinance application is approved, you'll have a new credit account. Opening a new account can initially lower your credit score, especially if you have a short credit history or few accounts.
  • Credit Utilization: Refinancing can change your credit utilization ratio if you consolidate debt or increase your available credit. If you're using a large portion of your available credit, your score can significantly decrease.

Positive Impact of Refinancing

  • Payment History: Indeed, making timely payments on your new loan can positively impact your credit score over time.
  • Credit Mix: Your credit mix may include various loans, and it shows that the borrower can easily handle different types of credit. Thus, the lenders can provide better interest rates.

Refinancing a Mortgage

Refinancing can reduce your monthly payments when the market conditions are on your side. People often prefer this option to reduce monthly bills or get a new home equity. Moreover, you can extend the duration of your payable loan.

Well, you might be contemplating, how refinancing hurts your credit. The answer is, that the refinancing process brings your monthly bills down, so you have to pay interest for a longer period. Therefore, it can drop your credit.

Refinancing Student Loans

This particular type of refinancing is an effective substitute, in case you want to promptly settle your loan. However, be careful where you refinance. If you refinance federal student loans with a private lender, you might lose important federal protections.

Want to know some options you could potentially consider in this case? Keep reading:

  • If your interest rates are high or unpredictable, especially if they could lead to high-interest charges later on.
  • Your improved credit score has made you eligible for a better interest rate through refinancing.
  • It could help you save money if you qualify for a lower interest rate.
  • Also, if you possess a private loan, you can utilize refinancing without losing access to federal loans.

Refinancing Your Auto Loan

You might think, ‘Does refinancing a car hurt your credit?’ Consider this: Refinancing your auto loan might be a sound plan for many reasons. To illustrate, you could save a lot if you successfully receive a loan with lower interest rates.

Generally, it is considered to refinance your loan when your car's value is higher than when you bought it. Lenders usually agree to refinance in such situations, but only sometimes, especially since cars lose value quickly.

Refinancing a Personal Loan

If, since taking out the original loan, your credit score has improved, it's probably a smart idea to refinance a personal loan. In the same vein, it makes paying your monthly payments feasible.

Further, here are some situations where refinancing your loan might be a good idea:

  • Since you got the loan, your credit score has gone up.
  • You want to switch to a fixed rate from a variable interest rate. 
  • Due to income drop, you need to lower your monthly payments.
  • You want to avoid a big payment at the end of the loan term.
  • You want to pay off your loan faster by switching to a loan with a shorter term.

What to Do After Refinancing?

This process often seems intricate, and getting approval from the lender isn't enough. Firstly, keep making payments on your original loan until everything is finalized. Then, make sure to keep making payments on the new loan on time until it's fully paid off.

Again, refinancing can temporarily lower your credit score because of the hard inquiry and the new debt on your credit report. But if you take the right steps after it, your credit score can bounce back quickly. 

What you can do:

  • Try not to accumulate too much revolving debt.
  • Keep an eye on your credit score regularly.
  • Make sure to pay your bills ahead of schedule or by the due date.

How to Protect Your Credit When Refinancing Your Home?

Refinancing your home is a big task that requires time and effort. It's important to consider expenses like closing costs. Also, be sure to stay on top of your old home loan to avoid missing a payment during the refinance process. There might be a short time when you're switching to the new loan but still need to make a payment on the old one.

Your new lender might agree with you to skip your last payment. But you should definitely pay it before the payment due date.

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Conclusion

In the refinancing process, hard inquiries, opening a new credit account, or consolidating your debt to increase your credit can potentially lower your score by a few points. However, upholding timely payments and successfully managing overall credit, can eventually contribute to a healthier credit profile.

In the final analysis, the answer to the question, ‘Does refinancing hurt your credit?’ depends on how well you manage your credit over time.

Having said that, if you keep your debts low compared to your earnings, you can maintain an ideal credit score. If you struggle to maintain good credit, using an AI-assisted credit repair app such as CoolCredit can be beneficial. It helps improve your credit score and keeps your credit on the right track.

FAQs

Q: Does refinancing have any negative effects?

A: You might notice hard inquiries appearing on your credit reports, which could potentially lower your credit score. Nevertheless, the benefits of refinancing could outweigh any potential credit score impact if you're saving money on interest or securing a monthly payment that aligns better with your budget.

Q: How long does a refinance stay on your credit?

A: Hard inquiries remain on your credit reports for a duration of up to two years. On the other hand, the new refinance loan will be reflected on your credit report for as long as it remains active. Loans that are closed in good standing remain on your credit reports for 10 years.

Q: What's a good credit score to refinance?

A: Your credit score when you first took out the loan is ideal for refinancing. Even though, having a credit score or FICO score of at least 670 is generally considered good.

Q: Does refinancing hurt your credit?

A: At first, refinancing may cause a slight drop in your credit score, but it could be beneficial in the long term. Refinancing has the potential to reduce your total debt or monthly payments, which lenders view positively. While your score might decrease temporarily, it usually recovers within a few months.

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