Ask the experts in Maine: how to refinance your home – Camden National Bank

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With interest rates at historic lows, refinancing has never looked so attractive. “This is unlike anything I’ve seen before,” says Nicole Hotchkin, assistant vice president, senior personal loans manager at Camden National Bank. But refinancing can be tricky, especially in a market as hot as Maine. Here are some tips from Hotchkin to make your job easier.

How do you know if refinancing makes sense?

As a general rule of thumb, if you want to save 1% or more on your interest rate, it’s probably worth refinancing. See what your new monthly payment will be and how quickly you can pay off closing costs. No matter what you’re currently paying, it’s worth talking to an experienced mortgage lender to look at your individual situation and see what your opportunities are.

How to choose a lender?

You want a bank that has digital tools that allow you to quickly and securely upload documents and complete the online application, but also has a local presence to make sure you receive the personal support and advice you need. you need. Working with a local bank also gives you the option of filing any important documents in person if you prefer to fill out paper forms and visit the banking center. Plus, you want to work with a lender who understands your community, especially if you have a unique circumstance like an island home or seasonal property. And don’t forget to think about what happens after the loan closes, if you have any questions or if issues arise, such as a job loss, that could impact your ability to make your mortgage payments. You may want to work with the bank that has the capacity to repay the loan, so that you have someone you know who can walk you through this sticky situation.

What are the common pitfalls to avoid?

The rates are low and many institutions like online only lenders are making really attractive offers. Be careful though, they often come with hidden charges. Offers that sound too good to be true usually are.

How long does refinancing typically take?

With rates this low, all lenders, underwriters, appraisers, and securities firms are very busy, so you can expect it to take up to 60 days to complete your refinance. The wait can be maddening and stressful, especially if you’re relying on a lower monthly mortgage payment to free up capital for other expenses. You want to work with a responsive lender who can coordinate with appraisers and securities companies and check the status of your refinance while you wait. To minimize your wait, gather all of your documents, like tax forms and pay stubs, as soon as possible. If you do this upfront work early on, the process will go a lot easier and you can lock in a low rate at the right time.

Camden National Bank has 60 branches in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. FDIC Member | Equal Housing Loan

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