Should we pay off our mortgage with a lower-interest line of credit?
By Judy Feldman

(MONEY Magazine) – Q. Two years ago we got a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.875%. Our bank just offered us a home-equity line of credit at 4%, with no fees. Or we could refinance the fixed loan to 5.25%--with no fees or closing costs. What should we do? --Billie Jo Murphy, homemaker, Omsted, Mich.

A. If you're sure you'll be moving in a few years, the home-equity line of credit (HELOC) looks tempting. Gary Schatsky, a financial planner in New York City, figures that the variable rate on a HELOC is not likely to climb more than three percentage points in the next two years--and you'll already have saved money from the get-go. But a good HELOC rate typically is lower than the prime rate (now 4%), and no one should ever pay fees for a HELOC. If you plan to stay in your home more than two years, consider a switch to that 5.25% fixed-rate mortgage. If--or rather, when--interest rates start to rise, you'll keep your peace of mind. --JUDY FELDMAN