Refinancing your home may benefit you in several ways. It is always best to look carefully at your goals, evaluate the costs involved, and make sure the end result meets these goals.
Refinancing to lower your payment - Ideally, you would take advantage of a lower rate to reduce your payment. But remember, there are costs involved in closing the loan. Most people roll these costs back into the loan amount. You should consider the costs involved and the length of time it will take to re-coup these costs. The term is also important. You may reduce your payment, but increase the term, costing you more money in the long run. If the rate is at least 1% lower and you plan to be in your home at least 5 years this may be an option that you want to consider.
Refinancing to get cash from equity - You may need cash out of your home to pay off credit card debt, for home improvements, college tuition, or any good cause. This will give you cash, and may allow you to continue to deduct interest from taxes. You should look at rates, term and monthly payment to determine if this is right for you.
Refinancing to decrease the length of your mortgage - In some instances you may keep a payment about the same as your current one and decrease the term of your mortgage. Generally, you increase equity at a faster pace, while paying off your mortgage in a shorter period of time. You should look at the costs to refinance, rates, payments and terms to see if this will give you an advantage.