When you first sign up for a mortgage, you agree to certain terms that can last between 15 and 30 years. Most people assume that those terms are set in stone, but that is not true. Refinancing your mortgage is one of the key financial tools that you have in your toolbox. It can help you lower your mortgage payments for any number of reasons. So when should you look into refinancing your mortgage? Here are some good things to look for.

1. You can get a lower interest rate.

Mortgage interest rates are always changing, so if interest rates are currently lower than what you are paying on your mortgage, you may want to look into refinancing. The first thing to do is to check your interest rate. This rate was locked in when you received your mortgage. Next, look at what current interest rates are. Keep in mind that your individual interest rate is determined by your credit score and financial trustworthiness, so you aren’t guaranteed the lower interest rate. Make sure you know what your new interest rate would be before you refinance.

2. You have a better credit score.

Did you only have average credit when you got your mortgage? That could have driven up the interest rate, which means you could be paying thousands you don’t need to be paying. If your credit score has gone up and you now have good or even excellent credit, you should be looking at refinancing. Your higher credit score will lower your interest rate, helping your save on your monthly mortgage payments.

3. You need to change the terms of your loan.

You may decide that you want to adjust the terms of your mortgage. If you started with an adjustable rate mortgage to save money in the beginning but can pay more each month now, you may want to switch to a fixed rate mortgage. If you couldn’t put 20% down when you bought the house but not have over 20% equity in your home, you can choose to opt out of your private mortgage insurance, which could be costing you extra money each month. Refinancing can help you change the terms of your loan to save a little cash.

4. You want to save some money.

If you have more money than you did when you first bought your house, you may want to look into changing the length of your mortgage. If you started with a 30-year mortgage, switching to a 15-year mortgage will not only double the amount of equity that you are putting into your home, but will also save you thousands on interest over the course of your mortgage. It will also mean that you will own your home faster.

Looking to refinance? Start here.