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KTEN MoneyWatch Series

Reducing Monthly Bills by Refinancing

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A new series on how to save money by reducing your monthly bills. Monday's report applies to homeowners. KTEN's Deeda Payton spoke to a local home lender about consolidating debt and knowing when to refinance.

It's that time of year again, tax statements are coming in, the year is winding down and you need to decide what financially makes sense for you.

Michelle Castle, a Mortgage Lender for Network Funding in Denison, says refinancing is a great idea if you have enough equity.  She says rates are low and even with the cost of refinancing you might be able to save yourself some money, if your rate is seven percent or more.

"Refinancing is great to do at the end of the year because you've got your taxes that you know if your taxes have changed. It's a great way to save money on your interest rate, lower your payment and get your tax escrow account straightened back up so it doesn't cost you a couple a hundred dollars in a couple of months."

Castle wants to remind those of you with escrowed loans, loans that include their taxes and insurance in the monthly payment, to pay close attention to your tax statements you are just now receiving.

If your taxes have gone up, you need to be prepared to write a check for the difference or expect your payment to increase enough to cover the shortage for 2008 and the increase for 2009.

Castle also advises against using online home lenders to refinance. She says there are plenty of experienced mortgage lenders in the area and they all get the same rates.

Deeda Payton, KTEN News.

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