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Get Your Hands on Some Cash

Another way to make a refinance work for you is to refinance for more than the balance remaining on your old mortgage -- in effect, tapping your home equity, or "cashing out," in mortgage speak. Thanks to favorable rates, you may be able to do so without boosting your monthly outlay. For example, at 8.5%, the payment on a $200,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage is $1,538. But at 7.5%, that same payment lets you borrow nearly $20,000 more.

The best use for the extra cash is to pay off any higher rate loans you may have. Let's say that you are carrying a $15,000 car loan at 10% and making minimum payments on a $10,000 credit card balance at 17%. Your monthly payments on those debts would total $680. Then assume you refinanced your mortgage, taking out an additional $25,000 to pay off your car and credit card loans. Result: At 7.5%, your additional monthly mortgage payment would total only $175, so you would come out $505 ahead ($680-$175=$505).

Of course, all the extra cash needn't go for paying off debts. When the Menards swapped their ARM for a fixed rate last December, they also increased their mortgage load by $34,000, from $106,000 to $140,000. They used $3,000 of the proceeds to pay their refinancing costs and another $17,000 to pay off a 10% home equity loan, which had been costing them $250 a month. Then they spent the remaining $14,000 to build a garage for Roger's antique car collection -- and they did all this for just another $19 a month.



PRMI NMLS No. 3094. Branch NMLS 252910. PRMI is an Equal Housing Lender. Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. The content in this marketing advertisement has not been approved, reviewed, sponsored or endorsed by any department or government agency. Rates are subject to change and are subject to borrower(s) qualification. This office is licensed and examined by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner of the State of Texas. Alabama Banking Department Bureau of Banking MC 20316. Arkansas Securities Department 11558. Florida Office of Financial Regulation MLD646. Department of Banking and Finance 6521. Office of Financial Institutions #771. Missouri Division of Finance. Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, 3094. Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit ML010027. Department of Financial Institutions 109282.

PRMI NMLS No. 3094. Branch NMLS 252910. PRMI is an Equal Housing Lender. Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. The content in this marketing advertisement has not been approved, reviewed, sponsored or endorsed by any department or government agency. Rates are subject to change and are subject to borrower(s) qualification. This office is licensed and examined by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner of the State of Texas. Alabama Banking Department Bureau of Banking MC 20316. Arkansas Securities Department 11558. Florida Office of Financial Regulation MLD646. Department of Banking and Finance 6521. Office of Financial Institutions #771. Missouri Division of Finance. Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, 3094. Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit ML010027. Department of Financial Institutions 109282.