Low equity? It finally might be time to refinance

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The combination of relaxing lending standards, still-low interest rates and rebounding home prices in many U.S. cities means that more homeowners can refinance their mortgage than before.

Vince Giacalone of Residential Wholesale Mortgage tells Consumers Digest that homeowners who have as low as 3 percent equity now can opt for a conventional refinance. Previously, you had to have at least 5 percent.

However, Greg McBride of Bankrate.com says homeowners who have low equity won’t get as good of a rate as do those who have at least 15 percent equity.