Whatever the circumstance were when you took out your HELOC, the time may come when you decide to refinance it. The factors pertaining to why and how you go about refinancing your HELOC will be as individual as you are. Make sure you have clear goals as to why you are refinancing, and be certain those goals can be met by the program you choose.
One reason to refinance a HELOC, and the first one that comes to most people's minds, is the interest rate. This may or may not be a good reason depending on a few factors. Your HELOC carries an adjustable rate; therefore if rates go down, so should your payment amount. If rates are steadily rising, however, and especially if they're expected to continue to rise, refinancing your HELOC back into your first mortgage, or into a closed-end second mortgage with a fixed rate, might make the most sense.
If you originally took out your HELOC for a project or expense such as college tuition or home remodeling and that project is now completed, you may just be looking to refinance your first mortgage and your HELOC into one loan with a low fixed rate to avoid the potential for a rising rate and increasing payments in the future. Having a single loan with a fixed rate offers you the satisfaction of knowing that your payment amount will never go up.
Conversely, if you've come to the conclusion that you need to be able to draw more from your HELOC than you'd first thought, you can refinance it or, more correctly speaking, take out a new HELOC for a greater value. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay additional closing costs, and that unless you can start making much larger payments, it will take you longer to pay back the larger HELOC amount. You should carefully consider your needs and options before opting for a HELOC with a larger credit line.
When the time comes to refinance your HELOC, don't hesitate to consult with a financial planner or a loan officer. These professionals can advise you on whether your reasoning is financially sound and about the kind of program you should choose to meet the needs and goals you're setting for yourself.