Q: My husband and I are thinking about refinancing to combine our first and second mortgages into a single loan.

We would hope to get a lower rate by combining the two mortgages into a new first mortgage than what we’;re currently payment. We’re not going to cash out any of our equity.

I heard rates were supposed to drop in the next month or two. We want a fixed rate and will wait if this is true. Have you heard this, too?

A: When someone asks me where I think interest rates are going, I always respond that my crystal ball is cracked. It’s hard to know where long-term interest rates will be because so many factors come into play. And, interest rates change daily.

But in general, most of the mortgage and housing economists are forecasting that interest rates will stay about where they are right now — about 6 to 6.5 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. The Federal Reserve Bank doesn’t look like it’s doing much in the way of lowering interest rates, so I think short-term rates will stay steady as well.

The time to refinance is when the numbers make sense for you. In other words, will you save money by refinancing today? How long will it take you to pay off your closing costs?

Sharpen up your pencil, take out some paper and do a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Then, shop around to 3 or 4 different lenders to see what they can do for you.-