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Balance Transfers & Mortgages

November 28th, 2007 at 02:03 pm

Well, I got my final balance transfer and so the grand total is $25k for the next 3 months. Then one of dh's has to be paid back. I will have $15k through summer and $10k through the end of next year. They still have not implemented 4% minimums so my payments are rather minimal (It's insane really - EASY money). I also have a 5.7% rate locked in on most of it. Big Grin Let's just say I am very happy with the whole thing and am rather bummed that I want to cut up all the cards and let my FICO rest once all is said and done. Then again, maybe dh should apply for another one. I don't know. It will be hard to give up the easy money. We could probably take turns doing them to limit affects on each of our FICOs. Yeah, think I am HOOKED!

On the flip side, about $15k of it will be in my name; with this new transfer. I am not excited to see what this does to my credit score. Particularly since Chase does not report my credit limit to the Bureaus. Gah. I have been so busy with ID theft to bother, but I will try and see if I can get that fixed. It will help my FICO to see only 33% utilization instead of 45%. I also could ask Chase for a credit increase to help. But they still have to report it, all the same. Doesn't help if they don't report it anyway...

That's the cool thing about having a partner. We both don't have to borrow very much if we combine our efforts.

I asked for a credit line increase to $11k and they approved it instantly. I told dh I wish I asked for much more to improve my utilization ratio. But he knows me too well. He's like if you asked for more you would have borrowed more. Well, is that so bad? It seems they were slow to give me credit before so I did not ask for much. I get the feeling I could have asked for much more.

In other news, regarding the ARM thread I was looking up mortgage rates and was rather surprised. We used to have a 15-year fixed, before kids, and figured we wouldn't be opposed to that again down the road, BUT we figure 15=year rates will probably never drop below our 5.75% fixed again (not soon enough to be worthwhile anyway). Anyway, I was looking and Countrywide had a 15-year fixed for 5.25%. I have to say; it is tempting. Particularly since we have paid so much down since last time. I think our payments were $1800 before and would be more like $1700 in this case.

Anyway, with one kid out of preschool in a few months, it is an interesting thought to go this route.

However, I knew that those #s were fishy. It was not clear how many points there were and I already knew Countrywide requires impounds to get the best rates (no way jose - for many many reasons).

Anyway, so I found the fine print - 2 points and impounds required. Not the greatest deal after all. (To note, our mortgage was acquired with no points, and no impounds!). These days I wish we had paid down the interest rate a bit. Then again really not much to complain about.

Anyway, BUT interest rates are dipping again and so it may make sense some point down the road to switch. We'll see. Just something we have to keep an eye on. Not sure it would make much financial sense today anyway; but always hard to pass up a great rate. In much more shape to go back to that now than we have the last few years.

Of course if rates don't drop down I think our current 30-year rate is lower than (if no the same) as our old 15-year rate. I do like the flexibility of a 30-year mortgage (e.g. if one of us were sick or lost a job it is nice not to have a stressful payment) and likewise I don't think it is the best idea to up our payment considerably. Hope I don't get too tempted. We always figured when dh returned to substantial work that we would add $500/month to the mortgage and resume our 15-year amortization. We'd still have plenty to invest and play with as well. In the grand scheme of things it is a much better plan. But if rates drop to 5.25% with no strings, well, color me tempted. Give me 2 years and I'll be ready. Big Grin (Interestingly interest rates dropped to the all-time lows right before our first child, so that is when we last refied. What are the odds they would do so again with our kids graduating from the insanely expensive years? Would be cool. But won't hold my breath. Already got pretty lucky once - hehe).

Of course when it comes to the great mortgage debate, this is why I like our 30-year so much. Much more flexibility. Sure if things are good we'll pay it off in 15 years. If we end up unemployed or disabled, I'd rather have the cash. win-win.

2 Responses to “Balance Transfers & Mortgages”

  1. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    We'll never get a 15 year mortgage. Too much inflexibility. You can always pay a mortgage off faster. Would I get a 30 year? Depends on what we buy for our next house and where we live.

    I'm way too young to make that determination. It depends on whether we are able to afford a single family home or not.

    We're the Arm Homeowners. Our neighbors are both CPA/MBAs and they got a 30 year mortgage. Crazy. Considering they bought the identical townhouse to us. They are 3 years older too, but I guess if they plan on living here forever. The thing is it's not kid friendly. And I guess if they don't plan on having kids it's a great place. But 3 stories and poor layout? Not going to work. But if they don't have kids yet, maybe they don't plan on it.

  2. baselle Says:

    Weird question - what's an impound?

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