Refinancing is a new loan for your home. In other words it replaces the loan you already have and can offer you lower interest rates and payments which in return will make your budget more manageable. You may even benefit by having a little extra cash in your pocket if, your previous house loan is less then the appraisal of your home. Lenders look into the value of your home to determine your loan amount which in return, could give you the extra boost you need for consolidations of other financial obligations. So, building up at the least 10% in equity is a plus before refinancing, most lenders want even consider a refinancing loan unless the required equity.
When refinancing you should already have a budget into place. You will want to shop around for competitive rates and determine the term of your loan. Do check your credit report and make sure to payoff as many credit obligations as possible before applying. Also, lenders will look at late payments. They want to see that you haven't had any late payments in the last 12 months so, do try your best at keeping your payments up to date or pay them off completely.
You will find that online calculators are great help. They allow you to see how much you can afford and what will be easy on your budget. There are many calculators to choose from and they are not hard to do. Your local lender can also help you in this process but, do not rule out your own mortgage company. As the years change so do their guidelines on refinancing. You may find that staying with them could offer you an advantage.
As you refinance you might want to keep in mind that your home mortgage could also be tax deductible under certain guide lines so, make sure to check into that before filing your returns. Many loans used for maintenance on your home such as energy saving windows, doors, air systems, and/or added insulation may be eligible for a tax deduction.