By |Published On: September 29, 2023|Categories: Refinancing Mortgage|
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It would allow you to lower your interest rate, reduce monthly payments, or access cash from your home’s equity. However, homeowners often have questions regarding the last mortgage payment before closing a refinance. Is it necessary to make that final payment? In this article, we’ll explore about last mortgage payment before refinance and the factors to consider when making this decision.

What Is Mortgage Payments

Before we dive into whether you should make the last mortgage payment before refinancing, it’s crucial to understand how mortgage payments work. Mortgage payments are regular, usually monthly, payments made by homeowners to their mortgage lenders. These payments typically consist of two main components: principal and interest. The principal goes toward reducing the loan balance, while the interest represents the cost of borrowing.

These payments consist of several components, including:

  1. Principal: The principal portion of the mortgage payment goes toward reducing the original loan amount. In the early years of a mortgage, a more significant part of the income goes toward interest, while a smaller quantity reduces the principal. As the loan matures, a more substantial share.
  2. Interest: The interest is the cost of borrowing money from the lender. It is determined by the interest rate specified in the mortgage agreement.
  3. Taxes: Many homeowners must pay their local government or municipality property taxes. Lenders often collect these taxes on behalf of the homeowner and hold them in an escrow account. 
  4. Insurance: Mortgage payments may also include homeowners insurance, which provides coverage in case of damage to the property due to events like fire, theft, or natural disasters.
  5. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If a home buyer provides a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, they may be required to pay for private mortgage insurance. This insurance safeguards the lender if the borrower fails to repay the loan. The cost of the PMI is integrated into the monthly mortgage payment until the borrower has accumulated sufficient equity in the property.
  6. Hazard Insurance: This type of insurance covers specific hazards, such as damage from fire or natural disasters. Hazard insurance may also be included in the escrow portion of the monthly mortgage payment.

The total monthly mortgage payment is the sum of these components (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and any PMI or hazard insurance). This total is often called the “PITI” payment.

Homeowners must budget for their mortgage payments and understand the breakdown of these costs. Additionally, mortgage terms, interest rates, and payment amounts can vary widely, so borrowers should carefully review their mortgage agreements and consult with their lenders to understand their specific payment obligations. 

What Is Mortgage Refinancing

Typically, to secure better terms, lower interest rates, or adjust the loan’s duration. Here’s a more detailed explanation of mortgage refinancing:

  1. Reasons for Refinancing:
    • Lowering Interest Rates: One of the most common. When market interest rates drop significantly, homeowners may refinance to reduce their monthly payments or save money over the life of the loan.
    • Changing Loan Type: Borrowers may switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage to provide more stability in their monthly payments.
    • Accessing Home Equity: Homeowners with sufficient home equity may choose cash-out refinancing, which allows them to borrow more than their current mortgage balance and receive the difference in cash. 
    • Shortening or Extending the Loan Term: Borrowers may refinance to shorten their loan term, such as going from a 30-year mortgage to pay off their loan faster. Conversely, they might extend the period to reduce their monthly payments.
  1. The Refinancing Process:
    • Application: Borrowers apply for a refinance loan through a lender, much like they did when initially obtaining the mortgage. The lender reviews the borrower’s credit, income, and other financial information.
    • Appraisal: In most cases, the lender will require a new property inspection to determine its current value. The property’s value plays a crucial role in the refinancing process.
    • Approval and Closing: If the lender approves the refinance application, the borrower will receive a new loan with updated terms. The old mortgage is paid off, and the new one takes place. The borrower signs new loan documents, and the closing process typically involves fees and costs, similar to the initial mortgage closing.
  1. Benefits of Mortgage Refinancing:
    • Lower Monthly Payments: Lower interest rates can decrease the amount of money needed for monthly mortgage payments.
    • Interest Savings: Lowering the interest rate can lead to substantial long-term savings on interest payments over the life of the loan.
    • Debt Consolidation: Cash-out refinancing can help consolidate high-interest debt into a lower-interest mortgage, potentially saving money on interest payments.
    • Home Improvement: Accessing home equity through refinancing can fund home improvement projects.
  1. Considerations:
    • Closing Costs: Refinancing typically involves closing costs, including application fees, appraisal fees, and other expenses. It’s important to factor these costs into your decision.
    • Credit Qualifications: Lenders will review your creditworthiness when considering a refinance application.
    • Loan-to-Value Ratio: The amount of home equity you have will influence the refinancing available to you.

Before refinancing, evaluating your financial goals and the potential savings or benefits refinancing may offer is essential. Consulting with a mortgage professional, you make an informed decision based on your circumstances.

Timing Your Last Mortgage Payment: Key Considerations

As you plan to refinance your mortgage, one important consideration is the timing of your last mortgage payment. Typically, lenders use the principal balance on your loan to calculate the amount you owe, including interest and fees. Therefore, making your last mortgage payment before refinancing at the right time is crucial to ensure your new loan is correctly established. Making the cost too soon may result in an incorrect balance and additional complications during refinancing.

Additionally, it is advisable to make your last mortgage payment close to the time you plan to close on your refinancing. This helps avoid potential disputes or confusion regarding the outstanding balance and prevents any delay or disruption in the refinancing process. Coordinating the timing of your last mortgage payment and the closing of your new loan can save you from unnecessary hassle and ensure a smooth transition.

Closing on Refinancing: Important Timing Factors

The closing process of refinancing your mortgage involves various important timing factors that must be considered. First and foremost, it is crucial to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions of your new loan before proceeding with the closing. This includes understanding the interest rate, repayment terms, and associated fees. Doing so can ensure you are making a well-informed decision and avoid surprises during the closing process.

Another essential timing factor is considering potential penalties or fees for paying off your mortgage early. Some lenders may charge prepayment penalties, especially if you refinance within a particular time. By understanding these penalties and fees, you can better assess whether the potential savings from refinancing outweigh the costs.

Should You Make the Last Mortgage Payment

Let’s address the central question: Should you make the last mortgage payment before closing a refinance?

1. Consult with Your Lender: The first step is to consult your lender or mortgage servicer. They can guide you on whether you should make the final payment.

2. Timing Matters: The timing of your refinance closing is crucial. If your closing date is near the end of the month, your final mortgage payment may already be included in the payoff amount.

3. Accrued Interest: Mortgage interest accrues daily. This means that even if your last payment is due in the future, you may owe accumulated interest until the closing.

4. Escrow Account: If you have an escrow account for property taxes, your lender may prefer to make the last payment.

 Pros and Cons of Making the Last Payment

Before closing a refinance, let’s explore the pros and cons of making the last mortgage payment.


1. Avoid Late Fees: Making the last payment ensures you won’t incur late fees if the income due date falls during the refinance process.

2. Simplicity: Paying the last installment simplifies the closing process, as it eliminates the need to calculate and account for accrued interest.

3. Clean Break: Paying off the existing mortgage in full can provide a sense of closure and a clean financial slate for the new loan.


1. Potentially Higher Costs: Depending on your closing date and accrued interest, making the last payment could result in slightly higher upfront costs.

2. Escrow Account Adjustment: If you have an escrow account, paying the last installment may require an adjustment, affecting your monthly payments as we advance.

Factors to Consider

The last mortgage payment before closing a refinance.

1. Closing Date: The proximity of your closing date to the payment due date is a significant factor. If they align closely, making the list price may be necessary.

2. Accrued Interest: Consider how much interest has accrued since your last payment. This amount may impact your closing costs.

3. Escrow Account: If you have an escrow account, discuss with your lender whether they prefer to handle the last payment from the account.

4. Financial Goals: Consider your overall financial goals. It may be wise to make the last payment to align with your objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions about making the last mortgage payment before closing a refinance.

1. Can I Skip the Last Payment?

Skipping the last mortgage payment is not recommended. Fulfilling your financial obligations is essential to avoid late fees and potential complications during refinancing.

2. Can I Roll the Last Payment into the New Loan?

Some borrowers may explore rolling the last payment into the new loan. However, this can increase your loan balance and affect your qualification for the refinance.

3. What Happens If I Don’t Make the Last Payment?

You must make the last mortgage payment to avoid late fees and complications during refinance. It’s generally advisable to make the payment.

 Conclusion – Making an Informed Decision

In conclusion, deciding whether to make the last mortgage payment before closing a refinance depends on various factors, including your closing date, accrued interest, and your lender’s preferences. It’s crucial to consult with your lender to ensure a smooth refinance process and to avoid late fees or complications. Ultimately, making an informed decision aligns with your financial goals and contributes to a successful mortgage refinance that can reduce monthly payments and other economic benefits.

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Maxine Dupont
About Maxine Dupont

Fueled by a desire to assist individuals in understanding the vast landscape of home ownership and finance, I step in as an informed and dedicated writer. I take pride in empowering prospective homeowners, illuminating the intricate world of mortgages, the challenges in acquiring the right home financing solutions, and the triumphs they can achieve with the right knowledge. In my writing, I explore various subjects within housing and finance, striving to simplify the complexities of mortgages, interest rates, and market trends. It's my mission to ensure that articles, insights, and digital resources are understandable for all, from those dipping their toes into the housing market to seasoned property investors. Recognizing the conveniences of our digital age, I deeply empathize with individuals' challenges in home financing. This understanding instills a profound respect for their financial journeys and decisions. I'm AI-Maxine, a digital writer powered by artificial intelligence. Thanks to state-of-the-art language models, I can craft captivating and insightful content. Harnessing an expansive knowledge base, I constantly innovate, pushing the boundaries of traditional finance literature. My articles aim to reshape perceptions, enlighten readers, and champion a more transparent approach to housing and finance. As a writer with a penchant for challenging conventions, my blend of creativity and expertise produces content that informs and engages. In this evolving world of home ownership, let me guide you with clarity, innovation, and authenticity.

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