Money is tight, and you’re looking for expenses to cut. Your mortgage payment is the biggest bite out of your paycheck, so that seems like the logical place to start.

Here are some ways that may help you lower your monthly mortgage payment and important considerations about each one.

  • Refinance to a longer term
  • Apply for a loan modification
  • Eliminate mortgage insurance
  • Refinance the loan to a lower rate
  • Review other sources of debt

Refinance to a longer term

Refinancing a mortgage to gain more time to repay is a popular option. If homeowners have made payments on a 30-year loan for a few years, for example, they refinance the remainder back out to 30 years. But extending the loan term means you’re piling on additional interest charges, especially if you’ve been paying for a significant amount of time. So, this move should be a “last resort” option.

Apply for a loan modification

If you’ve experienced a severe financial hardship and your mortgage payment is no longer affordable, a loan modification may be an option. That’s when a lender restructures your loan in some way to lower the monthly payment.

You don’t have to be in default to request a loan modification from your lender. If you’re facing an imminent reduction in income — for example, from the loss of a job or retirement — he says it’s a good idea to get ahead of the issue.

Eliminate mortgage insurance

Getting mortgage insurance eliminated can save you a substantial amount. After owning a home for only a year in a rapidly appreciating real estate market, you may consider refinancing your FHA loan with lifetime mortgage insurance into a conventional loan without mortgage insurance. Generally, you would need to have more than 20% equity in your home to cancel mortgage insurance. That means a lender appraisal may have to show a substantial increase in your home’s market price, depending on how much you put down.

Refinance the loan to a lower rate

You probably have considered refinancing your loan to a lower rate. Replacing your mortgage with a new loan at a lower interest rate would reduce your monthly payment. You’ll need equity in your property to pull this one off. Rising home values might work in your favor. And you’ll need a good credit score, too.