Posted by: Nick Ametrano
The downside of last month’s festivity and generosity is this month’s credit card bills. You may suddenly be looking at some huge balances with no idea how to pay them off. And what’s worse, you’ll be paying anywhere from 10-20% interest on what you owe!
Fortunately, the solution is close to home. If you’ve been in your house for a while, you may have enough equity to refinance your mortgage, consolidate your credit card debts, and end up paying mortgage interest in the 4-6% range. This can end up saving you thousands of dollars in 2011 and beyond.
The first step is talking to your mortgage broker. They can help determine how much equity is available in your home and advise whether debt consolidation is right for you. Even if you have to pay a penalty to break out of your existing mortgage, that cost is usually more than covered by the interest savings of debt consolidation. Your mortgage broker will do the math and show you how much you can save.
The goal of refinancing should be to save interest and get out of debt faster. It’s important to understand that you’re going to have to change your spending habits—at Christmas and year-round—or you’ll be refinancing again before you know it. The best strategy is to use the money you save from consolidation to start a saving plan or to invest in an asset that will generate a return, such as revenue property.