Refinancing is often used to lower your interest rate or term of loan and/or both. If rates have dropped since you last financed your home, you may want to consider refinancing. Other common reasons to refinance include paying off a balloon payment, converting an adjustable rate loan to a fixed rate loan or to extract cash equity in your home (cash out). A few reasons for cashing out include: home improvement, an education fund, and consolidating debt.
Another way to convert equity in your home to cash is a "home equity" loan. A "home equity" loan is an alternative to refinancing if your home loan has a very low rate compared to current interest rates or if you have a prepayment penalty on your loan.
* By refinancing your current loan, your finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan.