* You can charge people to store stuff in your garage, such as a car or a boat.
* Use your tax refund or pay bonus to pay down your mortgage.
* If you earn the same or less on your investments than you are paying in mortgage interest, it makes sense to instead invest in paying down your mortgage.
The portion of borrowers refinancing in January who took 15-year mortgages rose to 29 percent from 11 percent two years earlier, according to the most recent data available from CoreLogic, a real-estate information firm in Santa Ana, Calif. Mortgages with 30-year terms accounted for 52 percent of refinancings in January, down from 80 percent in January 2009.
The share of cash-in refinancings reached a record 44 percent in the fourth quarter, according to data from Freddie Mac dating to 1985. While the share fell to 21 percent in the first quarter as mortgage rates climbed, it was almost double the quarterly average over the past 26 years.
Refinancing applications have increased 36 percent since the start of the year, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association index. The average weekly rate is about a third below last year’s pace as millions of Americans can’t qualify for a new loan.