DEAR BOB: Just thought I'd pass along a trick we learned to get a favorable interest rate out of our lender when we refinanced our mortgage recently. Our old loan of about $33,000 was at 9 1/2 percent interest. We wanted to borrow an additional $40,000. So we told the lender we would agree to increase the interest rate to 11.5 percent. At first the lender wanted 14 percent interest, but when we said it was either 11 1/2 percent or no refinance increase, the lender readily agreed. -- Eugene W.

DEAR EUGENE: Congratulations on your successful home mortgage refinancing blackmail. But before you start feeling sorry for the lender, please realize the lender's yield on the $40,000 loan increase is not 11 1/2 percent but about 13.2 percent. That's because the lender also raised the yeild on the old $33,000 by 2 percent.

Today is an excellent time to "wheel and deal" with mortgage lenders who hold existing loans on your property.

These lenders are anxious to increase their yields on this money, some of which earns only 5 to 10 percent. For example, an elderly friend of mine has a $6,000 mortgage on her house at 6 percent. She gets monthly phone calls from her anxious lender offering to refinance at 12 percent.