No Closing Cost Refinance (What is It, and is It for You?)


A traditional home refinance involves replacing an existing mortgage with a new loan to secure better terms or a lower interest rate. This process can reduce monthly payments, change the loan duration, and/or provide access to home equity for other expenses or investments.

What Is a No Closing Cost Refinance?

A no closing cost refinance is a type of mortgage refinancing where the lender covers upfront closing costs in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate on the new loan. 

Unlike traditional refinancing, a no closing cost refinance reduces immediate expenses, but may result in higher total costs over the loan’s lifetime due to the increased interest rate.

The Pros and Cons of a No Closing Cost Refinance

There are both pros and cons of a no closing cost refinance. Comparing these details allows you to make an informed decision based on your current financial circumstances and short- and long-term goals. 

Let’s start with the benefits:

  • Upfront savings: Eliminates immediate out-of-pocket expenses for closing costs.
  • Simplified process: Reduces the complexity and paperwork typically associated with refinancing.
  • Immediate financial relief: This can be beneficial for those with limited cash flow, facilitating refinancing without financial strain.

Now, here are some potential drawbacks:

  • Higher interest rates: This results in increased monthly payments and a higher total cost over the life of the loan.
  • Long-term expense: The additional interest paid over time can significantly surpass the saved closing costs.
  • Potential for less equity: Higher interest rates can slow down the rate of building home equity compared to a traditional refinance.

Evaluating if a No Closing Cost Refinance Is Right for You

Consider these factors when evaluating if a no closing cost refinance is the right choice.

Current financial situation

Assess your immediate financial capabilities. If you lack funds for upfront costs, a no closing cost option can provide immediate relief and a path forward.

Property tenure plans

If you plan to keep the property for a short period, the higher interest rate may be less impactful compared to the upfront savings. Conversely, for long-term ownership, the increased total interest cost could be substantial.

Current mortgage rates

Compare the no closing cost refinance rate with standard refinancing rates. A significantly higher rate could negate the benefits of not paying closing costs upfront.

Long-term financial impact

Consider the total cost of the loan over its lifetime. Calculate how much more you will pay in interest with the no closing cost option and weigh it against the upfront savings.

Equity building

Understand that a higher interest rate could slow down equity accumulation in your home, which is an important factor if you plan to leverage equity in the future.

Market trends and future plans

Consider market conditions and future financial plans. If you anticipate an increase in income or a potential move, this might influence your decision.

Tip: Remember to conduct your evaluation based on your circumstances. What’s best for another investor may not be best for you. 

How to Get a No Closing Cost Refinance

If you’ve decided to go with a no closing cost refinance, it’s time to tackle the process. Here are the steps to take.

Research lenders

Start by researching various local and national lenders to find those offering no closing cost refinance options. Compare their terms, interest rates, and reputation. Remember, each lender may have different policies and rates for this type of refinance.

Evaluate loan offers

Once you’ve identified potential lenders, request loan estimates. Carefully review the interest rates, terms, and any conditions or fees that might apply. Ensure the long-term costs and monthly payments align with your financial goals.

Conduct a credit and financial review

Prepare for a credit and financial review by the lender. Ensure your credit score is in good shape, as it can affect the interest rate offered. Gather necessary financial documents such as income verification, current mortgage statements, tax statements, and any debt information.

Finalize and close the refinance

After choosing a lender and agreeing to the terms, proceed with the application process. Be prepared for a home appraisal (in most cases). Once approved, review all closing documents carefully before signing to ensure everything aligns with your understanding and expectations.

Final Thoughts

With all this information, you’re in a better position to answer the question, “Is a no closing cost refinance right for you?” 

If you’re ready to take action, follow these steps to put yourself on the right track to success.

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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