SMART HOME REFI

Refinance Today and Put Cash in Your Pocket

If you currently owe less than $150,000 on your current home, our Smart Home Refi may be the affordable and sensible alternative to refinance your home to a new, lower interest rate while providing access to your home’s valuable equity to put cash directly in your pocket.

Smart Home Refi Is the Affordable Alternative

For a limited time, our Smart Home Refi is being offered with a flat, one-time $199 closing fee, making it the affordable alternative to traditional home mortgage refinancing. You could potentially save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in loan closing fees alone.

Get started with your application online or call 1.800.205.3464.

Smart Home Refi Is the Sensible Alternative

Our Smart Home Refi is also the sensible alternative by providing qualified homeowners unparalleled affordability, flexibility, and cash access to their home’s equity — all from a single, convenient borrowing solution. Just see for yourself.

  • Flat $199 Closing Costs – No smoke and mirrors and no hidden costs. Just $199. That’s it! Potentially saving you a bundle in closing costs over a traditional home mortgage refinance.
  • Cash-out Option – Convert your home’s equity directly into cash at the same low annual percentage rate. Use it toward home improvements, debt consolidation, unexpected expenses, getaway vacation, new boat/RV, college tuition, or anything else.
  • Lower Interest Payments – Potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life your loan depending on your home’s current annual percentage rate and term.
  • Fixed Rate/Flexible Terms – Lock into a low, fixed annual percentage rate with loan terms from 60 to 240 months.
  • Save Money/Pay Off Faster – Refinancing an existing higher rate home mortgage is a smart way to potentially pay off your mortgage even faster -OR- possibly lower your monthly payments.
  • No PMI – No Private Mortgage Insurance is required for this loan to keep monthly payments even lower.
  • Auto pay discount – Save an additional .25% off your annual percentage rate with auto pay from your First Merchants Bank checking account.

Get started with your application online or call 1.800.205.3464.

How It Works

To help better understand the Smart Home Refi program, consider this simple scenario: 

Let’s say a homeowner owes $80,000 on a primary residence with an appraised value of $150,000. Let’s also assume this same homeowner would like a cash-out option of $20,000 of the home’s equity. Using the Smart Home Refi, the home could be refinanced for $100,000 ($80,000 remaining principal from previous mortgage + $20,000 cash out option) at a potentially lower annual percentage rate than that of the previous mortgage.

Is This the Right Alternative for You?

Get started with your application online or consult one of our trusted lending experts today to discuss our Smart Home Refi or other smart borrowing solutions. Call 1.800.205.3464, visit one of our banking centers, or email us for a free loan evaluation and consultation.

FAQs

How many times may I access my Home Equity Line of Credit funds?
  • Customers have unlimited access up to their approved credit limit during a predefined time period.

How can I access my Home Equity Line of Credit funds?
  • There are multiple ways in which bank customers may access their Home Equity Line of Credit funds.

    1. Credit Line Equity Access Checks or Credit Card - Funds may be accessed via credit line equity access checks or credit card transaction, using the Equity Access checks or card associated with your HELOC.
    2. Online - Simply log in to your online banking account and easily transfer money from your HELOC directly into your checking or savings account.
    3. Telephone Request, Request by Mail, in Person Request - Customers may call the bank, mail a request to the bank, or go in to a branch to request that available funds be transferred into your checking or savings account.
What does loan to value ratio mean, and how does it affect my Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit -HELOC rates?
  • Loan to value (LTV) is a ratio comparing the amount of money a homeowner owes on his/her first mortgage versus the home’s current appraised value. Borrowers with higher LTVs usually pay a higher rate of interest because they are generally considered a greater risk of default than those with comparatively lower LTVs.

    LTV is typically calculated as:

    LTV  =  Mortgage Amount / Appraised Property Value

What are approved uses of a Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?
  • A Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit are very flexible and may be used for almost any occasion, including:

    • Home improvements (large and small)
    • Debt consolidation
    • College tuition and expenses
    • New automobile
    • Automobile refinance
    • Recreational vehicles (boats, motorcycles, ATVs)
    • Vacations
    • Unexpected expenses - medical bills, new furnace, etc.
What's the difference between a Home Equity Loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?
  • This can be confusing to most because both Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit share some similarities, such as:

    • Both loans are secured by the equity the borrower owns in his/her home.
    • Both loans may be referred to as a second mortgage.
    • Both loans’ interest may be tax-deductible (consult your tax adviser).

    Home Equity Loan

    • A fixed amount of money based on your home’s equity.
    • A fixed rate of interest over a fixed amount of time.
    • Single lump-sum distribution of the money with no option for the borrower to obtain additional funds.

    Home Equity Line of Credit

    • A revolving credit limit based on your home’s equity.
    • The option to draw money at any time as well as multiple times, over a predefined time period.
    • The ability to draw money in any increments.
    • As soon as the principal is paid, the funds are instantly available for use again.
    • A variable rate of interest that may fluctuate over the life of the loan.
What do I need to know about a HELOC?
  • Here are some basic things to consider when evaluating if a HELOC is right for you:

    • Depending on your creditworthiness and the amount of your outstanding debt, you may be able to borrow up to 89 percent of the appraised value of your home less the amount you owe on your first mortgage.
    • Most HELOCs have variable interest rates. These rates may offer lower monthly payments at first, but during the rest of the repayment period, the payments may change — and may go up.
    • Similar to a real estate mortgage, HELOCs require you to use your home as collateral for the loan. This may put your home at risk if your payment is late or you can't make your payment at all.
What is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?
  • A home equity line of credit (often called HELOC and pronounced Hee-lock) is a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period (called a term), where the collateral is the borrower's equity in his/her house (akin to a second mortgage).

     A HELOC works more like a credit card. You are allowed to borrow up to a certain amount for the life of the loan -- a time limit set by the lender. During that time you can withdraw money as you need it. As you pay off the principal, your credit revolves and you can use it again.

Can I use the Smart Home Refis cashout option if I have equity in my home?
  • Yes. Assuming your home’s appraised value is at least 20% greater than the outstanding balance of your home’s original mortgage amount.

Can a Smart Home Refi lower my home mortgage interest rate?
  • Potentially. It depends on a couple of factors such as your current mortgage interest rate, remaining mortgage term, etc. Consult one of our trusted lending experts for a free consultation.

Does a Smart Home Refi require a home appraisal?
  • Yes. Your home must be appraised. First Merchants Bank will hire an appraiser to determine your home's fair market value.

Does a Smart Home Refi work if I already have a second mortgage?
  • Yes, assuming that the sum total of your first and second mortgages are less than or equal to 80% of your home’s appraised value.