Most homeowners take out mortgages to pay for their homes, and sometimes people struggle to make their mortgage payments. These payments can top thousands of dollars each month and can be a major burden for 15 to 30 years. Fortunately, mortgages can be refinanced to either save you money in the long run or put more money in your pocket each month. If you refinance your mortgage during a time when interest rates are low, the savings can shorten the life of your mortgage by years. However, most people don't know the basics of mortgage refinancing, or they're unclear of when they should consider using this option. Here are a few basics you need to understand when deciding if mortgage refinancing is a good solution for you or if you need to consider a different method for alleviating your financial burden.