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 Getting lender approval for bad credit refinancing
  Potential downsides of a cash out refinance
By the EchoBay Loans Expert
 Getting lender approval for bad credit refinancing
Dear EchoBay Expert: When I purchased my house 1 year ago I was only able to be approved for a bad credit home loan with a 9.15% interest rate. I've been paying my bills on time and wanted to know if I could now refinance my home mortgage and get a better rate even though I've only had the loan for one year?

Dear Loyal Reader: If your credit has improved, now is a great time to consider refinancing your home. Bad credit can cost you thousands in interest costs. You're going to want to refinance as soon as you are eligible for a lower interest rate, and it sounds like that time may be now.

The first thing you're going to want to do is get a copy of your credit report and your credit score to determine the shape your credit is in. Even a slight credit improvement can equate to a one to two percent interest rate reduction, meaning thousands of dollars in savings over the term of your loan.

Once you receive your credit report, review it for accuracy. If there's any outdated information on it, contact the credit reporting agencies and have it removed. You want your credit score as high as possible prior to applying for your refinance.

Once your credit report is in order, contact a lender to begin the application process. He or she will be able to give you a good idea of what kind of interest rate you will qualify for at the current time.

 Potential downsides of a cash out refinance
Dear EchoBay Expert: I need $12,500 for my son's first year of college tuition and I've read that getting a cash out refinance is an easy way to get cash out of my house. Are there any reasons not to do it? My home's value is $120,000 and I have $64,000 left to pay off on the mortgage. Thank you.

Dear Loyal Reader: While getting a cash out refinance is a popular way of funding college tuition, it's not always the best way. The first thing you need to ask yourself is do you really want to put your home up as collateral for your son's education? While education is extremely important, there are other methods of financing college tuition, including grants and student loans.

There's nothing wrong with using the equity in your home to finance your child's schooling, but if for some reason you are unable to make the payments, you're going to wind up losing your home. You also need to realize that your son's first year of college will be just that - one year.

You might be paying that tuition off for a lot longer than that, and what happens the next year when he needs another year's worth of tuition? If you don't know the answer to that question, you might want to consider a home equity line of credit rather than a cash out refinance.

With a home equity line of credit, you can access the funds for your son's tuition as you need them and your credit limit will go back up as you pay the balance off.

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