Do you shorten your mortgage term and save money, or do you stay with the longer-term mortgage and use the money you're saving on monthly payments? Look at this list before you make your choice.

THE PROS

•You pay far less in interest.

•Depending on when you took out the mortgage, the payoff could come in time to free up cash for college or retirement.

•You don't have to live with a significant fixed expense for more than two decades.

•You wake up and go to bed knowing you own your house free and clear.

THE CONS

•You lock into a higher payment than you would if you picked a 30-year mortgage.

•You lose the mortgage interest deduction more quickly.

•By taking on a larger payment, you have less financial flexibility. What happens if you're laid off or want to take advantage of an investment opportunity?

•You're assuming that a shorter-term mortgage will be a good idea 15 years down the road. What happens when Johnny's ice time gets to be too expensive?

•More of your money is locked up in home equity. In the days when it was easy to use home equity as a piggy bank, that wasn't a problem. Now it's not as simple.