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How homeowners can save

Refinancing a mortgage can save homeowners big bucks. Here are two scenarios using the example of a 30-year, fixed-rate, $100,000 loan with an interest rate of 9.15 percent and a monthly principal and interest payment of $815.44:

Refinance loan amount -- $97,816 Current 30-year fixed rate -- 7 percent New monthly principal and interest -- $650.78

Monthly savings -- $164.86

30-year savings -- $19,694 Closing costs on new loan -- $2,445 Break-even point -- 15 months

cutting loan duration

Refinance loan amount -- $97,816 Current 15-year fixed rate -- 6.625 percent New monthly principal and interest -- $858.82

Additional cost per month -- $43.38 15-year savings -- $21,396 Closing costs on new loan -- $2,445 Break-even point -- 13 months