What is the best way to determine if you should refinance a mortgage? Is there a general rule of them as far as difference in interest rates? I know closing costs are also a factor. Is there a good way to determine this without asking a mortgage banker?
Our mortgage provider actually took the initiative to send us a refinance package with no closing costs to us and nothing added to the note; took us from a 30-year-fixed ~6.5% note to a 15-year-fixed ~5% note, and dropped the monthly payment in the process. You might talk to your existing lender to see if they would do something like that for you; it gives them a chance to keep your business, and it cuts your costs.
Yes, take the new rate, but instead of using the new 30 year term, calculate the payment as though the new mortgage were at the remaining term. 3 years into a 30? You calculate the payment as if the new mortgage were 27 years. This will tell you what you are really saving. Now, take that savings and divide into your closing costs if any. That will give you the break even. Will you be in the house that long? If you can find a no closing cost deal, it's worth it for even 1/8% savings.