Save $1,000 In 7-Days Challenge
Day 7

In Part 7 I’ll show you how you can reduce your mortgage interest rate, your student loan rates, how to maximize your credit card rewards, and get more money in your paycheck. Click on one of the links below to get started or just work your way from the top down.

Refinance your mortgage
Refinance your private student loans
Turn your gift cards into cash
Maximize your reward points
Get a tax refund next week

Refinance your mortgage


  • if you can get refinanced for 1% or more than your current rate,
  • AND you can roll the closing costs into your new mortgage
  • AND you stay in your home long enough to break even (2-5 more years)

the math is in your favor to refinance.

Call your local bank’s loan officer and ask them to walk you through the math to see if it makes financial sense. HOWEVER: The math only works if you refinance and keep paying the same amount each month you currently are.

If you have 26 years left on your mortgage, and you refinance to a new 30-year loan, you can end up paying more in interest if you pay for the next 30 years. However if you keep sending in the old (higher) monthly mortgage payment as if your new loan had 26 years left on it, you win. If you need more help understanding based on your situation, contact me.

Check on for current interest rates.

I refinanced my first house twice in a five year period and saved thousands in interest charges and PMI (private mortgage insurance).

Refinance your private student loans

If you have private student loans, it’s worth contacting some of the new services that have come out in recent years to get a lower interest rate.

I’ve included a list of the leading companies that offer refinancing services here.

What about your public student loans?

It depends. You’re giving up the perks that public student loans have if you refinance, including:

  • Repayment options – Reduced payments that are tied to your yearly income such as Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Deferment/Forbearance – nice security blankets if you find yourself out of a job for some reason

Make a phone call to the student loan administrator at your school and ask for help. They will (hopefully) be able to walk you through your options.

Turn your gift cards into cash

Gift cards are real money you might have lying around in your junk drawer. Sell them and get some cash to spend on what you really want. The sites listed below talk a small cut, but it’s better than having a piece of plastic you might never use.

And if you routinely shop somewhere, buy a discounted gift card and save money. Here are just a few examples from

  • Walmart – Save 4%
  • Target – Save 6%
  • Home Depot – Save 6%
  • Starbucks – Save 15%

Cardpool – Buy discounted gift cards up to 35% off, sell gift cards for cash, or trade gift cards at the most trusted and most popular gift card exchange.

Raise – Shop for discount gift cards or electronic gift cards at Raise and browse our marketplace for gift cards by brand, price, discount, and category.

Maximize your reward points

Use to analyze your spending patterns and get the best credit cards based on your purchase habits.

Stack your savings with the app, which lets you know at the store which credit card you should use when checking out to get the most rewards.

Get a tax refund next week

If you’re getting a tax refund, you’re giving the government an interest-free loan. On average you can get an extra $300 / month in your paycheck by adjusting your withholding.

Get the first chapter free!

Just tell me where to send it.