re·fi·nance | \ˌrē-fə-ˈnan(t)s, (ˌ)rē-ˈfī-ˌnan(t)s, ˌrē-(ˌ)fī-ˈnan(t)s\
refinanced; refinancing; refinances

Definition of refinance 

: to renew or reorganize the financing of something : to provide for (an outstanding indebtedness) by making or obtaining another loan or a larger loan on fresh terms refinance a mortgage With rates tumbling, pay a little more now and retain the flexibility to refinance again next year.— Daniel Kadlec

Examples of refinance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Issuance of new money bonds fell 24% in 2008 as the recession destabilized city and state finances, leading to a smaller-than-usual crop of bonds eligible for refinancing in 2018. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Municipal Bonds Are Scarce. That’s Good News for Borrowers," 8 July 2018 Those loans were refinanced to delay repayment just last month, even as taxi medallions have lost a great deal of value thanks to the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Many Hustles of Michael Cohen," 6 May 2018 Interest rates have been rising, and S.&P. estimates that more than $4 trillion in corporate debt will have to be refinanced — presumably at even higher interest rates — by the end of 2022. Norm Alster, New York Times, "Bulging Debt May Spell Trouble for Energy, Telecom and Retail," 13 Apr. 2018 The bank’s mortgage volume was down 11% after higher rates led to a drop-off in refinancing activity. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Reports Profit Fall Amid Regulatory Issues," 13 July 2018 Consider a case involving LendEDU, a student loan refinancing website. Austan Goolsbee, New York Times, "What Advertising History Says About the Future of Fake News," 25 May 2018 Similar racial and ethnic differentials emerged in the refinancing market, but with far higher rejection rates. Kenneth R. Harney,, "Racial disparities significant in mortgage rejections, study shows," 22 May 2018 Similar racial and ethnic differentials emerged in the refinancing market, but with far higher rejection rates. Kenneth R. Harney, miamiherald, "Racial disparities significant in mortgage rejections | Miami Herald," 21 May 2018 Other benefits include property tax exemptions, refinancing options to make homes more energy efficient and below-market interest rates. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Veterans group plans housing summit," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refinance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of refinance

1995, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for refinance

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for refinance

The first known use of refinance was in 1995

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Financial Definition of refinance

What It Is

Refinance refers to the replacement of a debt with new debt bearing different terms.

How It Works

Financing involves borrowing a specific amount of money over a length of time at an agreed-upon interest rate.  Payments on the debt are divided between interest and principal.  If circumstances change, for example, the length of time needed to repay the debt is longer and the lender agrees, the loan may be refinanced, extending the term and lowering the period payments (because they are extended over a longer period of time.)  If interest rates change, the debt may be refinanced using a lower interest rate.

For example, the $150,000 loan below is shown with a term of 15 years at 8% per year.  By year 5, the market interest rate drops to 5%.  When the loan is refinanced over the balance of the term, for example, the savings in principal and interest payments on the loan will be over 32,000.

Refinancing may also convert an adjustable rate mortgage to a fix rate mortgage, reducing the interest rate risk to the borrower.

Why It Matters

Refinancing may be restricted on debts containing "call provisions," requiring a penalty payment in the event of a refinancing. In addition, a refinancing usually requires a closing and transaction fee that may be expensive. As a result, it is important to calculate the present value (the value in today's dollars) of the savings and compare it to the closing costs of the refinancing.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of refinance

: to get a new loan to pay (an older debt) : to finance (something) again


transitive verb
re·fi·nance | \ˌrē-fə-ˈnans, -ˈfī-ˌnans \

Legal Definition of refinance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to renew or reorganize the financing of

2 : to revise the terms of (a debt obligation) especially in regard to interest rate or payment schedule refinance a mortgage

intransitive verb

: to finance something anew



Legal Definition of refinance (Entry 2 of 2)

: a financing of something anew especially : a revision of the terms of a debt obligation (as a mortgage)

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Comments on refinance

What made you want to look up refinance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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