A cash-out refinance can be a smart move if you can get a good interest rate for the new loan and you have a plan for the money. It's not a good idea to use the money to finance a vacation or a new car, as you won't get much return on your investment. However, if you use the money to renovate your home, it can help rebuild the capital you are raising. Lenders require you to have a minimum amount of home equity, which is the value of your home minus what you owe on your mortgage, in order to qualify for a cash-out refinance.
When deciding whether to take out a cash-out refinance, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit, it's important to compare rates from different lenders. If a cash-out refinance doesn't give you a lower interest rate on your first mortgage, then a home equity loan might be the better option. If you're sure that investing in something like a new degree or course of study will benefit you in the long run, taking money out of your home can make sense. With a conventional loan, you'll need to have owned the home for at least six months in order to qualify for a cash-out refinance, regardless of how much equity you may have.
Cash-out refinance rates tend to be higher than purchase loan rates, but if mortgage rates were higher when you originally purchased your home, then you could still end up with a lower interest rate. Cash-out refinancing allows you to access the net worth of your home through a first mortgage rather than through a second mortgage such as a home equity loan or line. This is useful for important expenses such as renovating your home or paying for college tuition, as you can generally borrow much more than with a personal loan or credit card. If taking out a cash-out refinance for investment purposes improves your monthly cash flow and helps you maximize contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts, then it could pay off in the long run.
Paying off credit cards in full with a cash-out refinance can also increase your credit score by lowering your credit utilization rate. When it comes to closing costs, paying in cash will be the cheapest option and you may be able to use the cash you receive through reimbursement to pay for them.