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Transfers and thinkings

March 11th, 2012 at 11:07 am

My monthly transfers to savings went through. It really has been helping me to have them all go at once, and knowing what paycheck is used to pay what. I refer to my chart a lot.

This month I did what I did last month, which was to transfer a few of the deposits to k's credit card. I took it out of my savings, house savings, car savings, bill savings (to get a head of mortgage when k wasn't working) and taxes. I know I need to save for these things, but I think paying the credit card is better at this point. Together its another $1000 or so to the card. I am not touching my emergency savings (now at $18,000!, the cat savings (for vets) now at $4500, or any of my trip funds (saving for England and Italy and friends come visit). k's credit card balance should drop to $11,500. And he has been ok with not charging too much.

I have been seriously thinking about the refinance. I've run a few numbers, and even signed up with lending tree. Just checked the email, they are "confident that we can find a loan option that fits your financing needs." My current mortgage is $317,000 at 5.375 (8 years in). I also have a home equity loan at $131,500, variable but currently at 2.99%. (this was run up by a lot of things that were beyond my control and really bothers me, perhaps some day i'll figure out how to blog about it nicely. but for now, lets just call it debt and accept it.)

Total is about $450,000. I think I should combine them (I think I might even have to.). The house is valued by Zillow over $600,000 so we have at least 20% down. I know I have 'excellent' credit (750 I think, was checked within a few months) and I assume k does also. I'm sure we make enough with income we can document to satisfy the mortgage, our combined take home is about $8000, and that's after retirement withdrawals.
I currently pay about $2000 for my mortgage payment (not counting taxes) and $340 for the loan which is just covering interest. I was going to start working on it after k's credit card. But its such a huge debt I think it would be better handled with the mortgage. Interest rates are going up.
So I have been running numbers. And I signed up with lending tree to see what they could do. (Anyone have experience with them?).
I got an offer for 3.75% for 30 year fixed. That would give me a payment of $1922. If the rate is 4%, its $2148. These numbers aren't that different to me, and both are in the range of my current mortgage payment (without the home equity loan). So I could combine my loans and pay about what I am paying now. If I took the monies I am currently paying the loan ($340/month) and my emergency savings ($1400/month) I have almost a mortgage payment, so if I add that to the mortgage as additional each month (and a bit more) I can pay off the entire thing in about 10 years.
So it looks like the thing to do is combine the loan and look for a fixed rate 30%, and even 4% is ok.
HomePlus Mortgage offered 3.75% and no points. Anyone know anything about this?
My current loan is with GMAC through USAA. I tried running the numbers through both their online refinance calculators but got loans that required $45,000 or so down. I am planning on calling them on Monday to see what they can offer me, telling them about the 3.75% fixed with no points for the full amount I've already been offered. Then I will call HomePlus and see what they can really offer :}
What I want is - the entire amount refinanced. No points. Low closing costs. I'll accept a higher APR for these.
I would like to refinance with the bank I already have. But I need to think about how to evaluate/choose another bank. How much does it matter who I pay a check to?
Should I be doing anything to prepare for the refinance? Should I pay off the credit card? Does $11,000 in debt mean anything when you're borrowing half a million? I have quite a few credit cards with no balances. I don't know what my total line of credit is (but, now that I think of it, that's probably something I should be figuring out and blogging about since its 'financial'). I do recall that I had to close a few cards when I first bought the house, but that was when credit was still crazy and they kept increasing my limits every year (and I was getting bombarded with credit card checks). I do recall my credit card limit then was some ridiculous amount like $150,000. My mortgage person joked that I could almost have bought the house on my cards. I am sure my limit isn't that high, but I can think of several cards that have a $20,000 or more limit, so perhaps I should figure that out and close/limit some accounts. TODO - organize credit cards & figure out limits and close accounts if not needed. Or max them all out and run off to an island. Should always keep that option open.

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