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Carlos Barros was elated when he refinanced his mortgage back in May 2020, locking in a 3.125% rate and reducing his monthly payments by about $220. Unfortunately, the feeling didn’t last long.

“Just a week or so after I closed on my refinance — thinking that I got a killer rate — I spoke to two of my closest friends and they both got better rates than I did,” says Barros, a web developer and personal finance writer based in Chandler, Ariz.