financial advice, improve credit score,personal financial adviceA nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.  ~Yogi Berra

Sometimes we call a girlfriend for a silly, “fluff” conversation: how are ya’ doin’? Guess what color I dyed my hair? Have you seen the latest episode of …?

Sometimes we call because we want something more substantial: philosophy or perspective or great girlfriend advice.

Girlfriend Guru and financial expert MIATA EDOGA provides us — as always — with a substantial meal of financial advice. So grab a minute to think about taking care of yourself financially and join us for her advice.

If you haven’t refinanced your home yet, what are you waiting for? According to Bankrate, interest rates recently bounced off record lows, and there’s no news of rates rising anytime soon. But don’t procrastinate: when interest rates finally rise, it often happens in the blink of an eye!

Here are some ways a refinance could help you:

1) Pay off your home more quickly. By switching to a shorter-term loan with a lower interest rate, you may see a negligible payment difference and pay your loan off earlier than you’d expected.

2) Lower your monthly cash flow needs. If the budget’s tight, a refinance could loosen the belt a little.

3) restructuring debt, Restructure debt. If you have equity in your home, you may be able to use this money to pay down credit card or lines of credit. Do yourself a favor if you use this approach: cut the credit cards and learn to live without them before you have new credit card debt and a bigger mortgage.

When you refinance, there are a few pointers you should remember:

Don’t compare interest rates only. Most mortgages including origination fees, appraisal fees, and processing fees. Remember that there are costs with mortgages and these can vary widely, changing the total cost of the mortgage. Often the best sounding mortgage rate is saddled with the highest fees.

Speaking of costs, ask for these in writing before you sit down at the closing table, so you have time to process what you’re getting into. Ask if any of the fees can be lowered. Often, origination fees and processing costs are padded by the mortgage company.

Understand whether there will be prepayment penalties or additional charges if you don’t make payments on time. If rates somehow go lower, you want the flexibility to refinance again without worrying about penalties.

Inquire about discounts if you set up automatic payments or for an affiliation you may hold. Some institutions will shave interest or fees for auto payments or if you belong to a group they’re working hard to attract.

MIATA EDOGA is the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, a 10-year old company committed to utilizing humor, inspiration, and lots of love to give individuals around the world the necessary tools to thrive financially, while keeping focus on the things they treasure most. Visit the Abundance Bound Facebook Page for your free copy of Financial Success for the Creative Soul!