When does an FHA Streamline Refinance Make Sense?The FHA streamline refinance is not right for everyone, but if rates significantly dropped or you can afford a fixed-rate loan and want out of an ARM, it can make sense. If you’ll stay in the home for the foreseeable future, you can either save money on interest or have a more predictable payment.

Before you jump on board, ask yourself:

  • Am I saving enough money to make the cost of refinancing worth it?
  • Would I feel more at ease with a fixed-rate loan versus an ARM?

When Doesn’t an FHA Streamline Refinance Make Sense?

Like we said, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to refinance.

First, make sure you can afford the closing costs. Unlike most other loan programs, you cannot roll your closing costs into the loan. Make sure you have the money to cover the closing costs plus the FHA upfront mortgage insurance fee equal to 1.75% of the loan amount. You may get a credit for some of the insurance you paid already.

Next, make sure the interest changes are enough to refinance. Just because you get a lower rate, doesn’t mean it automatically makes sense. Look at the big picture. Is the payment lower? Are the over loan costs lower? Look at the loan’s total cost over the entire term to decide.

Pros and Cons of the FHA Streamline Refinance


  • Simple to qualify for and use
  • You may be eligible for an FHA MIP refund
  • No appraisal necessary
  • No credit check or income verification needed
  • A simple way to lower your payment or change your loan’s term


  • You owe closing costs upfront
  • You’ll pay the upfront MIP again
  • You’ll start your loan term over again

FAQ – FHA Streamline Refinance

Do you have to pay closing costs on the FHA streamline refinance?

Yes, you always have to pay the closing costs upfront on the FHA streamline refinance. Some lenders may offer a no-closing cost loan, but the interest rate will be higher. This may negate the net tangible benefits of refinancing.

Do you need an appraisal for the FHA streamline refinance?

No, the FHA doesn’t require an FHA appraisal. This also means you don’t have to worry about making specific repairs to meet the FHA minimum property requirements.

Is there a minimum credit score required for the FHA streamline refinance?

The FHA doesn’t require lenders to pull credit for the FHA streamline refinance. If your lender pulls credit, they’ll typically require between a 580 – 640 to qualify, though.

Final Thoughts

If you have an FHA loan and know rates dropped lower than what you pay now, look into your options. You don’t have to use the same lender, so shop around and get at least 3 quotes.

Look at your options, comparing the rate, closing costs, and overall loan term. To qualify, you must have an on-time mortgage payment history plus prove you benefit from the refinance. It can be a great way to save money on your loan if you look for the best loan possible. 

Is an ARM right for youIn today’s competitive housing industry, it’s important to find the loan that’s right for you. With the low-interest-rate environment, many buyers wonder if an ARM loan is the best choice. Here’s everything you should consider before choosing an ARM loan.

Understanding how an ARM Loan Works

An ARM loan offers an introductory rate. The rate remains fixed for the first few years. After the fixed period, the rate adjusts annually based on the index (such as LIBOR) and the chosen margin set by the lender.

Many buyers prefer the ARM because the initial payment is much lower so they can afford a larger loan. With the potential of increasing rates in the near future, many buyers are looking at the ARM for its lower cost. 

A fixed-rate loan, on the other hand, starts at one rate and remains the same. Your payment never changes unless you escrow your taxes and insurance, and those rates change throughout the time you own the home. 

Pros and Cons of the ARM Loan


  • Lower payment for the first few years
  • You may be able to pay more principal each month with the lower payment
  • Rates may decrease in the future


  • Rates can increase significantly
  • Your monthly payment will change annually after the fixed period
  • It’s hard to predict your financial situation 5 to 10 years from now

Choosing Between an ARM Loan and Fixed Rate Loan

Because you don’t know where you’ll be 5 to 10 years from now, it’s hard to decide if an ARM loan or fixed-rate loan is right. Here’s what you should consider.

Will you Move Soon?

Think about your plans. Will you move in the next few years? If so, an ARM may make sense, especially if you can get one with a rate that will adjust after you sell the house.

Do you Think you’ll Refinance? 

Some people like refinancing whether to get the lowest rates or to tap into their home’s equity. If you’ve structured your loan so that you put money into the home now but will tap into it later, an ARM may save you money for a few years. If you refinance before the rate adjusts, you eliminate the risk of increasing rates. 

Do you not Like Risks?

No matter what your future plans may be, if you don’t like risks and uncertainty, a fixed-rate loan is a better choice. You’ll get more predictability and know exactly what your payment is each month. You’ll also know when you can afford to pay more principal and pay your loan down faster.

Choose the Right Loan Term for You

Look at your situation and choose the loan term that suits your finances now and in the future. Even if everyone around you is taking an ARM loan doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Know the terms, how much the rate can change, and what you are comfortable affording.

Talk with your loan officer and look at all scenarios, paying close attention to the loan’s total cost over the life of the loan before deciding.