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More Than a Third of Owners Regret Not Refinancing Earlier

May 3, 2021

Homeowners are taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates to refinance their mortgage and lessen their monthly payments, but a large share of owners may have missed out on the refinance frenzy last year. More than a third—or 36%—of homeowners who missed the 2020 refinance wave say they regret not taking advantage of the lowest mortgage rates ever, according to a new survey of 1,210 homeowners from LendingTree.

Many may have missed out due to a lack of knowledge about the refinancing process, falsely assuming they had to work with their original lender to refinance or could only refinance their mortgage once. Eleven percent of homeowners said they have no clue what their current mortgage rate is and whether refinancing makes sense for them.

Millennial homeowners were the most likely to refinance their mortgages during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the LendingTree study. Forty-two percent of millenials, 18% of Gen Xers, and 10% of baby boomers have refinanced their mortgage within the last year.

But mortgage rates are still at historical lows, even if they have ticked up over the past few weeks. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98%.

Just over a third—34%—of homeowners have a 4% mortgage rate or higher. They could be missing out on thousands of dollars in savings over the life of their loan, researchers note. Still, the message to refinance may be getting out: Nearly half—49%—of homeowners say they are considering a mortgage refinance in the next year, according to LendingTree.