During periods when mortgage interest rates are high or steadily rising, many homeowners decide against refinancing. If they do opt for it, it is done differently than those which occur during times when interest rates are low.
During the low periods, people refinance to decrease their monthly payment to save a little money presently, and sometimes considerable amounts over the long term. When they are high, the primary reason for refinancing is to acquire a larger loan which will offer extra cash. This cash can be used for other purchases and is often a resort for those in monetary crisis with other bills.