Most homeowners don’t ever think about the possibilities of a lower interest rate.

Refinancing a mortgage might be the perfect way to make a home loan work with a homeowner’s current situation and help him or her achieve certain financial goals. It’s important to know the ins and outs of the process.

Simply put, refinancing works by giving a homeowner access to a new mortgage loan, which replaces the existing one.

This allows replacement of the term, interest rate and other factors of the original loan with an entirely new loan.

Your credit score is essential when considering a home purchase or refinancing. The goal is to make payments on time for several years to establish a good credit score. It’s important not to live outside one’s means.

Owning a home can be expensive, and if expenses of keeping it maintained and in proper working order are factored in, homeowners quickly learn that they are spending some big money.

Having a record of staying current on home payments, homeowner’s association dues and other bills contributes to a great credit score.

Check your credit score regularly to monitor your progress and act quickly on infractions so that the credit score is not affected. However, whether one’s credit score has improved, stayed the same or declined a little bit, there are options available.

Refinancing is all about replacing the current loan with one that is more up to date with the homeowner’s current and future financial goals.

Current rates can be researched on line or discussed with a financial expert. It’s important to find out whether those rates are expected to rise or fall in the near future, as the loan process can take some time given common circumstances that arise to each specific case.

The down payment, as most refinancing options will require it (like the original mortgage), is a huge factor to be considered as well. The homeowner needs to ensure that both the rate and the down payment amount are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not refinancing is the best option.

Once the credit score is in a good place, and the amount of cash available for the down payment is in hand, call your local mortgage professional.

Mortgage rates are still historically low. If refinancing is something that has been considered, now is the time to weigh the options. Options range from a shorter-term loan or paying down with points. Maybe moving away from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage is the right move.

The most important thing to remember is that there are options.

Amanda Maletz is a mortgage consultant with OnQFinancial. Amanda. Maletz@OnQFinancial.com