BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) – It may be bad news for your 401k, but it could be great news if you want to refinance your home. The sputtering economy is keeping mortgage rates low, with some fixed rates now hovering near four percent.

But, you may not need to rush. Financial Adviser Steve Kus of Hilliard Lyons in Birmingham thinks the rates will be low for about six months to a year.

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“That’s a professional guesstimate, and I’m guessing that will be the case,” Kus told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil.

“If you do still have an extended term and you have enough equity in your home and you have some money in your pocket for some closing costs, if would be a good idea to do so,” he said.

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But Kus cautions that many banks now require 20 percent or more equity in a home before they’ll refinance, and you have to have enough for a large down payment as well.

A decline of 500 points has dropped the Dow industrials below the 11,000 mark, on the first trading day after Standard & Poor’s downgraded American debt. It’s the first time since November that the blue-chip index has been that low.

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