Academic English

“Refinancing Mortgage Loans”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult refinancing mortgages man 01:03

Pre-Listening Exercise

Taking out a loan is often the only way people can afford major investments or purchases such as a college education or home. However, what advantages are there to refinancing a mortgage loan at a lower interest rate? Use the Internet to learn more about this.


“get the ax” = be fired
“Justin got the ax at work yesterday, and now he’s really worried about paying his mortgage.”

“be loaded” = be rich, wealthy
He’s really loaded, so he can afford to make big house payments.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

This commercial discusses ______ loan financing.

For many homeowners, refinancing their home mortgages can provide numerous financial benefits over the long run.

You can lower your monthly mortgage payments by _____.

For one, you can lower your monthly mortgage payments by taking advantage of lower interest rates.

Refinancing your loan can help you ____.

Second, refinancing your mortgage can provide you with additional funds to finance other home improvements, like repairing that leaky roof, adding a garage, or building an addition on to your home.

People can sometimes pay off their loans more quickly when ______.

Furthermore, by refinancing, you can greatly reduce the length of your loan. After several years into your mortgage, people often earn more money than when they first purchased their home, and thus, have a surplus to pay their off loans quicker.

Refinancing a mortgage can also help in a financial crisis due to _____.

However, for some people, refinancing their mortgages just makes sense, providing a cushion in case of a financial crisis due to loss of employment or a medical crisis.

Post-Listening Exercise

Discuss with a partner the advantages and disadvantages of taking out loans to pay for expenses? Are there times when taking out loans is justified? Are there situations when you have to use credit cards to make purchases? If so, when? What are some basic steps to avoid getting into serious debt?

Online Investigation

At some point in our life, we might find ourselves in a situation where we need to take out a college student loan or a home mortgage loan, either for ourselves or for a family member. However, taking out a loan can be a confusing and complex process if you don’t know what to do. Use the Internet to find out the following basic factors to get you started:

  1. Are are some good reasons for which you might want to borrow money?
  2. What are some of the fees and other costs associated with taking out a loan?
  3. What are the penalties for not paying back a loan on time?