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Mortgage Recasting: What It Is and How It Works

If you’re sitting on a large chunk of cash, recasting your mortgage can lower your monthly payments and help you save on interest.

Serhii Shleihel/Getty Images

If you’re trying to reduce your housing payments right now, there aren’t many options. It’s hard to move because housing prices are so high, and it doesn’t make sense to refinance because mortgage rates are above 7%. 

However, you aren’t totally stuck. You could try mortgage recasting, which can be easier and more affordable than refinancing. The catch is that you’ll need a chunk of money to get started.

What is a mortgage recast?

Lenders often refer to a mortgage recast with different names, such as a mortgage reamortization or a principal reduction modification. No matter what it’s called, the process is the same: You make a large payment that goes toward the principal (the original sum of money you borrowed), and then the lender reamortizes the loan to determine new (lower) monthly payments. The interest rate and terms of your mortgage don’t change. 

How does a mortgage recast work?

When you recast your mortgage, you’ll pay a large chunk of money toward your principal and request a reamortization of your loan. For some people, this could be an option after receiving an inheritance or coming into a large sum of money. 

Reamortizing involves recalculating your monthly mortgage payments based on your new balance, but a recast is not automatic. You’ll likely need to submit an official request to your mortgage servicer to initiate the process. Since you aren’t changing the rate or terms of your loan, you won’t need to complete much additional documentation or go through a credit check. 

A recast doesn’t happen overnight and does involve some processing time. Be prepared to wait six to eight weeks for the lender to complete your new payment schedule. You’ll also need to sign a new agreement with your new payment obligation as well as pay a fee -- typically a few hundred dollars. Otherwise, the process is fairly straightforward. 

How to qualify for a mortgage recast

Not all loans are eligible for a mortgage recast. Government-backed loans such as VA, FHA and USDA loans usually don’t qualify for a recast. Your best bet is to reach out to your lender to inquire if a recast is an option for you. 

Most lenders will require a minimum sum payment to recast your loan. They will also want to see that you make regularly scheduled payments. 

Should you recast or refinance your mortgage?

Recasting a mortgage isn’t the same as refinancing a mortgage, and the two processes have different implications for your financial well-being. 

A recast involves handing over a large sum of money and having your lender calculate new monthly payments based on your sizable one-time payment. A refinance involves paying off your mortgage and replacing it with a new loan that comes with a new set of terms and a new rate. 

Here’s a rundown of the scenarios where each option may be a better fit:

When it’s wise to recast

If you’re satisfied with your mortgage rate and have a sizable balance in your bank account (think $10,000 or more), a recast might be a good decision. You’ll be able to immediately wipe away more of your debt without dealing with expensive closing costs. Be mindful of what else you might be able to do with that money, though, such as investing it for a higher return. And if you’re feeling any sense of financial uncertainty, you’re better off holding on to the funds.

When it’s wise to refinance

Right now, refinance activity has slowed down: According to data from Redfin, more than 90% of homeowners have mortgage rates lower than 6%, which means that refinancing in the current high-rate environment won’t result in a lower interest rate. However, if you need to borrow money for a big expense such as a home renovation project or to pay off a large chunk of high-interest debt, a cash-out refinance could make sense. 

Here’s a rundown of the major differences between the two:

One big payment results in lower monthly payments for the rest of termNo required payment toward principal
Rate and term stay the sameRate and term change
Low fees (around $250 to $300)High closing costs (an average of around $5,000)
Lender reamortizes your mortgageOption to take out money with a cash-out refinance

How to calculate your mortgage recast

Let’s say your outstanding mortgage balance is $250,000, and you have a 5% interest rate. Your monthly payments for principal and interest are currently $2,000, and you have 25 years left on the loan. If you make a one-time payment of $50,000 and pay a recasting fee of $300 for your lender to reamortize your loan. Now, your new payments are $1,171, saving you $829 each month for the remainder of your loan.

Before you move forward with a recast, make sure you ask your lender for a complete estimate of your new payments based on their math.

Pros and cons of mortgage recasting


  • Lower monthly payments: You’ll free up room in your budget with a smaller housing payment, and you’ll save on interest.

  • Low fees: Most lenders charge a nominal one-time fee of around $300, significantly cheaper than the closing costs with refinancing. 

  • Keep the same interest rate: Since mortgage rates are so high, you can hold on to your current (lower) rate as long as possible.


  • Large sum of money: You’ll need a lot of cash to contribute, and you’ll need to be confident that paying down your principal is the best use for it.

  • Not available to everyone: Not all lenders offer recasts, and government-backed loans aren’t typically eligible for them.

  • No ability to tap into equity: With a recast, you don’t have any option to take cash out based on your equity, which is one of the main upsides of a refinance.

Bottom line

If you recently came into a lot of cash, recasting your mortgage might be a smart decision to chip away at your principal, reduce your monthly payment and save on interest. However, recasting isn’t always an option. If you’re interested, call your mortgage lender to see if your home loan has the potential to be recast.


Recasting your mortgage can help lower your monthly housing payment without the sizable closing costs associated with refinancing. It’s important to note, however, that recasting requires a large one-time cash payment. Be sure to think about your other financial objectives to figure out if that money might be better suited for saving or investing.

Recasting your mortgage won’t get you a lower interest rate, and your term remains the same. Another downside is that you can’t tap into your home equity with a recast. 

Making additional payments to chip away at your principal can help reduce your debt load, but it won’t lower your monthly payments. Recasting, on the other hand, will reamortize your loan and make your ongoing payment obligation more affordable.

There are quite a few ways to save money on your mortgage. If you can afford it, consider making biweekly mortgage payments, which can help you stick to a tighter budget and chip away at your principal faster. Also, if you’re still paying private mortgage insurance, consider requesting an appraisal to see if you have already hit the 20% equity mark due to appreciation. 

David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. Based in Chicago, he writes with one objective in mind: Help readers figure out how to save more and stress less. He is also a musician, which means he has spent a lot of time worrying about money. He applies the lessons he's learned from that financial balancing act to offer practical advice for personal spending decisions.