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We've got a six-year old mortgage. Should we refinance?

Q: We have 30-year FRM at 6.25% from 2004. The remaining balance is $123,000, while the value of our home is $220,000. We have excellent credit. Should we refinance?

A: Yes! You are a good candidate for refinancing. However, you should probably look at loan terms shorter than a 30-year term, which will see you re-start the "amortization clock" all over again. To lock in savings, consider a 20-year or even 15-year mortgage term instead; your monthly payment will only decline slightly (or perhaps not at all) but you will carve anywhere from four to nine years off your mortgage, saving a bundle of interest in the long haul. Of course, if improving your cash-flow is more important, a new 30-year term would work for you.

More help from HSH.com

  • When refinancing at a higher rate makes sense

    Trade your old mortgage for a new, higher-rate version? There are times when it actually makes sense.
  • Should I pay off a mortgage early?

    By making extra principal payments or refinancing your mortgage, you could pay a lot less interest and free yourself from your mortgage ahead of schedule. Here are the pros and cons of retiring your mortgage early.
  • Are ten-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) available anywhere?

    Sure! Virtually all lenders who sell product to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be able to offer you mortgage with a 10-year term. However, interest rates are usually the same as the lender's 15-year offerings.

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