Consolidating Debt with a Cash-Out Refinance
What it is
A cash-out refinance uses your home equity to access a lump sum of money. Unlike a home equity loan, this debt consolidation method replaces your old mortgage with a new, larger one instead of adding a second mortgage to your monthly payments.
How it works
In terms of debt consolidation, the goal of a cash-out refinance is to save you money on interest and maybe even lower your monthly payments. This is possible because mortgage interest rates tend to be a lot lower than credit card APRs (i.e., ~5% vs. ~16%).
Factors to consider
- Credit score
- Debt-to-income ratio
- How long you’ve had your mortgage
Important to know
- To be eligible for a cash-out refinance, you typically need more than 20% equity in your home.
- You can borrow more than you owe on your mortgage
- Lower credit requirements than a home equity loan
- Receive money as a lump sum
- Higher interest rates
- Closing costs apply
- Risk foreclosure if you default
A cash-out refinance replaces your mortgage with a bigger one, and you can take out a portion of your equity in cash.
Unlike other home refinance methods, a cash-out refinance does not add a second mortgage to your monthly payments.
To find the best cash-out refinance rates, consider your options regarding fixed loan terms, adjustable rate mortgages, and FHA loans. For veterans, the VA is a good option, especially if you don’t have excellent credit.
Depending on your situation, a mortgage refinance could drive your total financing costs up and you could even face a prepayment penalty if you pay off your balance early.
Cash-out refinances depend heavily on the housing market. If your home’s value is up and you want to consolidate your debt by refinancing your mortgage, it may be a good time. It also depends on what type of debt you’re looking to consolidate. For example, cash-out refinances work best when consolidating credit card debt. If your debt includes auto or student loans, you may want to consider another option.