In one recent example, the firm used a refinancing to help a client-a single 45-year-old female-refinance a $380,000 equity credit line. One of the problems with the credit line was that the interest was not deductible, which the client was unaware of when she took the loan, Welch says. The refinancing put her into a deductible mortgage, and in the process allowed the firm to consolidate $50,000 in credit card debt that she was paying off at a rate of 23%.

"From our perspective, it gives us a chance to add value to the relationship," Welch says. Advisors are finding numerous opportunities to use refinancing as a tool for consolidating debts, or putting equity to use in other parts of a client's financial plan.

Bernard Kiely, president of Kiely Capital Management in Morristown, N.J., had one recent case in which a corporate executive client of his was able to use a refinancing to address another concern: financing his daughter's college education. College savings had been a problem for the client because most of his worth was tied up in his 401(k) and pension plans. Through a refinancing, he was able to pull out $50,000 in equity and start a 529 plan, Kiely says.

Just a straight refinancing that reduces the interest rate by 1% has an impact on a client's overall financial plan, says Andrew Lucas, principal of Lucas Capital Advisors in Manalapan, N.J. "With these interest rates, a client can save $200 or $300 a month," Lucas says. "That's money that can be put toward retirement and education goals ... now it's something we'll review whenever I pick up a new client."

When discussing mortgages with clients, however, some advisors say numbers can sometimes conflict with emotions. Jane Marchand, president of Marchand Faries Financial Management in Jacksonville, Fla., says she's had cases where she's advised clients to remortgage properties that are nearly paid off or paid off completely. These would be cases where the money could be put to use elsewhere, while the client benefits from continued tax deductions and relatively small monthly payments.

Yet she says clients sometimes resist such proposals because many cherish being mortgage-free after up to 30 years of sending out payments. "Emotionally, they want to continue to be debt free," she says. "That's something we're dealing with more and more.

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