Everyone knows you should occasionally check in on mortgage rates to see if you could be doing better, right? (And if that’s news, you have now officially been alerted!).
But how often do we check in on other debt, like credit cards and car loans? When does it make sense to refinance a loan? And what should you do with the money you save?
We have answers — just follow these four easy steps:
Step 1: Look up your current loan rates.
This information should be on each of your monthly loan statements. Be sure to include any credit cards you don’t pay off each month.
Step 2: Check out our interest rates and compare them to your current ones.
We make this step super easy. Check rates on everything from mortgages and home equity lines of credit to car loans and credit cards.
Step 3: If your current rates are higher, look into refinancing/transferring your loans.
Here are some things to keep in mind for various loan types:
Credit cards. Summit doesn’t charge you anything to transfer your credit card balance and none of our credit cards have an annual fee. So, no matter which of our cards you want to switch to — Visa Platinum, Visa Platinum Reward or Visa Global Good (which, bonus, lets you help people around the world!) — there’s no cost to you and you’ll save money on interest. Be aware that a non-Summit card might have annual and transfer fees.
Car loans and mortgages. There’s more to think about if you’re considering refinancing one of these types of loans.
There are four times when it makes sense to refinance:
- When you find an interest rate that’s lower than your current one (and for a mortgage, most experts recommend a rate drop of at least half a percent to cover closing costs associated with a refinance.)
- When your financial situation has improved and you might qualify for lower rate.
- When you don’t think you got the best deal possible the first time around.
- If you need to extend the period of your loan because you’re struggling to make payments. But be aware: a longer term usually means you’ll pay more in interest over the life of your loan.
Step 4: Set your savings aside.
Figure out exactly what you’ll be saving each month, open an account and sign up for direct deposit to make sure that money gets set aside. This is an easy way to start saving toward whatever you’re dreaming of — and we’ve even got a great tool to help you: Summit's Climbr®. Check it out!
Don’t spend more on interest than you need to! Own your debt — and your dreams!