How Soon Can You Refinance a Mortgage? Here Are the Rules

Some mortgages let you refinance immediately after getting the original loan. Others require a "seasoning" period to elapse.

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How soon you can refinance a mortgage depends on the type of home loan you have and the type of refinance you're getting.

Some mortgages let you refinance immediately after getting the original loan. Others require a period to elapse before refinancing — what the mortgage business calls "seasoning."

This article outlines the seasoning rules for conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans.

Not sure what type of loan you have? You probably have a conventional mortgage if your loan isn't backed by the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and if it's not a jumbo loan.

Jumbo loans go beyond conforming loan limits, so they don't meet the qualification standards set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Most conventional mortgages fall within those guidelines, making them conforming loans, which are usually purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

If you have a conventional loan, you can visit the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan look-up websites to check whether your loan is owned by either of the government-sponsored enterprises.

If you have an FHA, VA or USDA loan, this should be indicated on your mortgage statements, but you can also contact your loan servicer to double-check.

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Rules for refinancing conventional loans

In most cases, you may refinance a conventional loan as soon as you want. You might have to wait six months before you can refinance with the same lender. But that doesn't stop you from refinancing with a different lender.

An exception is cash-out refinances. A cash-out refinance is where you borrow a larger sum than what's left on your mortgage and receive that extra amount in cash. To get a cash-out refinance on a conventional mortgage you must have owned the home for at least 12 months, unless you inherited the property or were awarded it in a divorce, separation or dissolution of a domestic partnership.

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