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Homeowners in These States Have Been Slowest to Refinance Into Low Mortgage Rates

Doug Whiteman
Homeowners in These States Have Been Slowest to Refinance Into Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates that recently hit all-time lows are still in that neighborhood, and are allowing homeowners to slash their monthly payments and interest costs by refinancing.

The savings come at a welcome time for households looking to shrink their budgets as they deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Compared to a year ago when rates were 1 percentage point higher, consumers save nearly $60 per month — or $700 per year in payments — for every $100,000 borrowed," says Tendayi Kapfidze, the chief economist for LendingTree.

With many homeowners deciding they can benefit from a refinance, some states have seen increases in refi applications this year of at least 300%. That's four times as many as in early 2019.

But other states are lagging. We count down the states with the weakest increases, according to a LendingTree study. The potential savings are based on Kapfidze's calculation and on median home values from Zillow, which have been rounded.

15. Indiana

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Downtown Indianapolis at twilight.

In Indiana, known for its fondness for basketball and auto racing, refinance applications are up 220% this year versus the early months of 2019, LendingTree says.

If you own a home here and haven't refinanced yet, here's why you ought to look into it:

  • Median home value: $157,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $94.20
  • Typical annual savings: $1,130.40

14. Hawaii

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The Honolulu skyline.

So far in 2020, requests for refinance loans have increased 217% in Hawaii, the island state known for its beautiful beaches, luaus and volcanoes.

This is how Hawaii homeowners can cut costs through a refi:

  • Median home value: $640,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $384
  • Typical annual savings: $4,608

13. New Hampshire

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Sunset in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

You might think homeowners in the Granite State would have a natural attraction to today's rock-bottom mortgage rates — but refinance demand hasn't been as strong in New Hampshire as in most other states.

Mortgage refinance applications are up 216% this year, compared to the early months of 2019. Here's a sample of the savings New Hampshire homeowners are missing out on:

  • Median home value: $296,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $177.60
  • Typical annual savings: $2,131.20

12. Wyoming

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A modest home beneath the Grant Tetons in Wyoming.

Demand for refinance loans has increased 214% from the levels of early 2019 in Wyoming, known for its national parks and landmarks, its cowboy culture and its natural beauty.

How people in Wyoming can save by refinancing:

  • Median home value: $254,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $152.40
  • Typical annual savings: $1,828.80

10. (tie) Iowa

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Morning in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

In 2020, refinance applications have risen 213% in Iowa, where they love corn, county fairs and college wrestling.

Though lenders have been dealing with a more than threefold increase in applications from a year ago, other states have seen much stronger growth. In Iowa:

  • Median home value: $154,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $92.40
  • Typical annual savings: $1,108.80

10. (tie) Kansas

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The skyline in Wichita, Kansas

Demand for refinance loans is up 213% this year in Kansas, the Sunflower State that's also famous for its wheat farming and tornadoes.

How Kansas homeowners can save by refinancing:

  • Median home value: $153,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $91.80
  • Typical annual savings: $1,101.60

9. Ohio

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Downtown Cincinnati in Ohio.

So far in 2020, refinance applications have increased 212% in Ohio, known as the birthplace of several presidents, the airplane-inventing Wright brothers and the phrase "rock and roll."

Sample savings for Ohioans:

  • Median home value: $152,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $91.20
  • Typical annual savings: $1,094.40

8. Michigan

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Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Homeowners have applied for 211% more mortgage refinance loans this year versus last in Michigan, a state known for automaking and its nearly 3,300 miles of coastline along four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie and Michigan.

Here's how a refi can save you money in Michigan:

  • Median home value: $175,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $105
  • Typical annual savings: $1,260

6. (tie) New Mexico

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In New Mexico, nicknamed the "Land of Enchantment," refinancing hasn't held the same fascination for homeowners as it has in many other states. Refi applications are up 210% so far in 2020.

This is why more homeowners ought to refinance in New Mexico:

  • Median home value: $207,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $124.20
  • Typical annual savings: $1,490.40

6. (tie) Pennsylvania

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Applications for mortgage refinance loans have increased 210% this year in Pennsylvania, the state that gave the world Hershey's Kisses, Heinz Ketchup and Philly cheesesteaks.

Why more people in the Keystone State should refinance to cut costs:

  • Median home value: $197,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $118.20
  • Typical annual savings: $1,418.40

5. Alabama

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Downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

In the bottom five states — which all have seen refinance applications grow by under 200% this year — borrowers are missing out on chance to significantly cut their mortgage payments, LendingTree says.

Refinances are up 194% in Alabama, known for its Southern hospitality and food. This is why more Alabama homeowners should refinance:

  • Median home value: $142,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $85.20
  • Typical annual savings: $1,022.40

4. Arkansas

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A residential street in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Refinance applications have grown 190% so far this year in Arkansas, a state famous for its lakes, rivers and hot springs — and for being the home of Walmart, which is based in Bentonville.

Here's an example of the savings many Arkansas homeowners are losing out on:

  • Median home value: $130,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $78
  • Typical annual savings: $936

3. Kentucky

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Downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Demand for refinances has gone up by a relatively modest 169% this year in Kentucky, known for its bluegrass, bourbon, fried chicken, and the annual horseracing spectacle called the Kentucky Derby.

Sample refi savings for Kentuckians:

  • Median home value: $149,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $89.40
  • Typical annual savings: $1,072.80

2. Mississippi

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A home in Hide-A-Way Lake, Mississippi.

Refi requests have risen in 2020 by a comparatively low 166% in Mississippi, the birthplace of a long list of famous people including Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Buffett and Muppets creator Jim Henson.

If you're a Mississippi homeowner who hasn't refinanced, this is why you should consider it:

  • Median home value: $127,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $76.20
  • Typical annual savings: $914.40

1. West Virginia

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Downtown Morgantown, West Virginia.

The state where homeowners have been slowest to refinance is West Virginia, where mortgage refi applications have grown just 164% so far in 2020, according to the LendingTree study.

Here's why more West Virginians should refinance their mortgages:

  • Median home value: $107,000
  • Typical monthly savings from a 30-year mortgage refinance: $64.20
  • Typical annual savings: $770.40