Interest rates are on the rise, and that means the 25 percent of homeowners who hold adjustable-rate mortgages are beginning to feel the pinch. Gerri Willis at CNNMoney has some advice to help these folks guard against higher rates. She recommends that homeowners:

  1. Know the stakes. The increased rates can make hundreds of dollars of difference in your monthly payment, all of which goes to interest.
  2. Buy some time. Though it will cost now, you will likely save in the long-run by refinancing with your current lender. Call to see which options are available to you.
  3. Re-evaluate your home equity line of credit. Pay off your HELOC if possible (but beware prepayment penalties). Otherwise, consider refinancing it into a new loan with your mortgage.
  4. Don’t consolidate. Though it’s tempting, it’s probably cheaper not to consolidate your other debts into your mortgage. A mortgage stretches out your payments so that you may actually pay more in the long run.
  5. Forget the fees. Get rid of private mortgage insurance, if you can. Check to be certain you’re not paying other unnecessary fees.

Read the entire article at CNNMoney.