Jean Chatzky: Protect Yourself Now From Rising Interest Rates

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Let's face it, interest rates have no where to go but up. When that happens, will be you be ready?

Personal finance expert Jean Chatzky, who's book Money 911 was recently published, says that now is the time to focus on maintaining -- and improving -- your financial position.

For a long time, it didn't seem we would have to worry. Ben Bernanke promised that mortgage rates would remain low and as would corporate bond rates. All this would happen thanks to QE2, or quantitative easing, which would help to keep rates down, make housing more affordable and foster economic growth.

But rates are already moving up.

It's Tough, But Refinance Now

So Chatzky recommends that you take action, right away. First, she says, look at your home, probably your biggest asset. If your rate is above 5%, or if it's an adjustable rate, it's time to refinance. Of course, doing so isn't as easy as it once was. "I just refinanced my mortgage," says Chatzky. "I've done it several times before and I had never been through anything like this and I had all the documentation in the world." But in the end, refinancing is worth it if you get a great rate.

Also, explains Chatzky, if you have brought your credit score way up, that can help you to take your mortgage rate way down.

In the video above, Chatzky gives more important advice. Among her tips: how to refinance your auto loan and the best places to stash away your cash (and it's not in money market funds or traditional CDs.)
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