How soon can you refinance a mortgage?

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    Jordan Moore
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    Team StellarFi
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    This depends on the loan type you have and the refinance type you’re planning to get. You can get a refinance immediately after getting the original loan in some cases. In other cases, a certain amount of time has to pass before you can apply for a refinance. This is called seasoning. 

    Conventional loan: If you have a conventional loan – not backed by any federal agencies – you can refinance your mortgage as soon as you want. If you’re refinancing from the same lender, you have to wait for six months, but you can choose a different lender instead if you want to refinance immediately. 

    The only exception is a cash-out refinance where you borrow more than your owed loan amount. You should have resided in the home for at least 12 months to qualify for a cash-out refinance. 

    Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan: There are different types of refinancing options available for FHA loans

    • Cash-out: Like a conventional cash-out, if you borrow more than you currently owe on your mortgage, you can take the difference in cash. You need to occupy and own the home for at least 12 months before applying for a refinance. If you have a mortgage, at least six months should have passed and all mortgage payments due in the last six months should have been made on time. 
    • Rate-and-term and simple refinance: Refinancing one FHA loan to another without a cash-out is called a simple refinance. Refinancing from another loan type to FHA without a cash-out is called a rate-and-term refinance. You don’t need to wait to refinance these loans unless the lender needs it. You can qualify for a refinance with less than six months of on-time payments. If you’ve had the house for longer than six months then you should have made the last six payments on time. You can’t have more than one late payment in the six months before that. 
    • FHA Streamline: This is the faster way to refinance from one FHA loan to another. There is less paperwork because there’s no appraisal. You need to have the mortgage for at least 210 days and make at least six monthly on-time payments with not more than one late payment in the six months before that.

    Veterans Affairs (VA) loan refinancing: A VA loan is backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. You need to wait at least 210 days after your first payment or until you have made six payments – whichever is longer. This applies to all VA refinance loans whether it is a cash-out or a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL).

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan refinancing. There are two types of USDA loans — guaranteed and direct loans. For both loans, you can get a streamlined or non-streamlined refinance if you have made on-time payments in the last 180 days.

    There’s also a streamlined assist refinance program that allows you to refinance with less paperwork if you have made all mortgage payments on time in the last 12 months.

    Jumbo loan refinance: You can refinance a jumbo loan whenever you want, just like conventional loans. Lenders have their own requirements for refinancing but there aren’t any agency rules to follow. A jumbo loan is usually for amounts larger than the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They may have stricter underwriting rules than other conventional loans.

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StellarFinance, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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