By Judy Finman

With interest rates on home loans still fairly low, this may be a good time to refinance your home and get into a new 15-year or 30-year fixed APR home loan.

According to Debbie Shephard, lending manager at Northern Colorado Credit Union, which serves Weld and Larimer Counties, there are important considerations in deciding to refinance:

Current rate vs. new rate

How much are you saving? 4.25% vs. 3.00%? Or 3.23% vs. 3.00%?

Does it make sense to refinance, especially with the closing costs?

Closing costs

Generally speaking, you should be able to recoup your closing costs within 24 to 36 months.

For example, with $8,000 in closing costs, you should be saving roughly $200 to $300 per month on your new payment.

Are you staying in your house or planning a move?

If you are planning to move or upgrade your home within a year or two, you may not want to pay those closing costs. Save your equity from those closing costs for the down payment on your new home!

If you’re thinking of refinancing to pull cash out for home improvements to get your home ready to sell, a home equity loan or line of credit is much less expensive than refinancing.

Is your credit in a good place to refinance?

If you have any negative items in your credit report, your current rate may be better than what a new rate would be.

You can check your rate on many sites and with many lenders without paying a fee, including Northern Colorado Credit Union’s website: You may be better off waiting until your score improves.

If high credit card balances are pulling your score down, a debt consolidation loan may be better for 3 to 6 months to allow your score to go back up and get you the best rate.

> Northern Colorado Credit Union, 2901 S. 27th Ave., Greeley; 909 Mountain Ave., Berthoud, 970.330.3900,