The recent increase in interest rates has had an immediate effect on many people. And its not just homeowners and property investors. Rates have risen across the board and those with personal loans, credit card debt, and car loans are also feeling the pinch.

refinancing enables borrowers to take out a new loan to repay an existing loan. By refinancing, mortgage holders can take advantage of lower interest rates or more favourable loan terms obtainable as part of another package offered by their lender, or indeed by one of its competitors. They can also extend the term of their mortgage should they want to reduce monthly repayments or make changes allowing them to pay off their mortgage faster.

Finding a cheaper home loan than you currently have doesn't necessarily mean you will be better off after you make the switch. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when evaluating whether to refinance your home loan or not.

To find out how to maximise your savings when refinancing, read the latest issue of Your Mortgage, out on sale now.

Step-by-step guide to savvy debt consolidation
If you have a mortgage and a credit card or personal loan, you can be sure that you are paying too much interest and your minimum repayments are also higher than they need to be.

Besides wasting money, as interest rates continue to rise, you might begin to feel the pinch a little more from that Christmas splurge and managing credit card payments. Personal loans and mortgage payments can take on a whole new meaning. The good news is you have a credit card or personal loan debt of $25,000, you can reduce the interest you pay by around $18,000 or save around $350 a month in repayments. You just need to know how.

In this issue of Your Mortgage magazine, we show you how to reduce your monthly repayment by $350 through smart and safe debt consolidation.