On Living Life: The American Dream–Refinancing Part 2

Guest Post by Carly** Because of Carlys work, she is unable to disclose her full name.

If you haven’t read Part 1 click HERE, trust me…it’ll be sooo worth it!Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 3.16.32 PM

We bought the house during the height of the market back in 2006. As a result, our monthly payment is exorbitant (lie #53: don’t worry, it is good debt, your paycheck will grow into it). So, after all else was paid down, this was the last thing we needed to take care of. We received flyer after flyer, phone call after phone call saying that we were eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0). So, I called my lender. They gave me some cock and bull story about why we weren’t eligible because of our mortgage insurance. I knew that they were lying to me so they wouldn’t have to do another refi. And I talked to a few people over a few days trying to understand. Bogus, bogus, bogus.

Then I talked to a friend in the real estate industry. She confirmed my suspicions about what my lender was saying but we just left it alone. We were tired of fighting. I prayed about it and just asked that God would pave the way and make it clear for both of us sometime soon. He is our Provider, He pays the bills and He did in His own unexpected way! After Christmas, we realized our house was falling apart, and we needed to do thousands of dollars of repairs, some of which were due to faulty construction. Frustrated, I talked to my dad and he said to check into the HARP thing again. We talked to a bank and a financial advisor who had no vested interest in our situation and they both told us that, yes, we were eligible. But, we would have to talk to our lender again. I did. And suddenly it was 4 months later and their story had changed! “Why yes, you are fully eligible. Whoever you spoke with before must have been new to the company….” Riiiight, all three of them. Too many people are experiencing the same sewage from their lenders: run-arounds and downright lies to keep people from refinancing.

Did you know that only 25% of eligible Americans take advantage of the HARP program? Here is my theory for this phenomenon: The government provides a program to even the playing field for middle class America while trying to boost the economy (more disposable income for us middle-classers, means we can buy more crap to boost the economy). But, the lenders don’t want that to happen, we are all paying premium interest rates while the golden parachutes continue flying sky-high off into the sunset. And we are crushed under the deadweight of inflated mortgages and stagnated wages. Don’t get me started on medical expenses. Do remember that our taxes bailed these banks out back in 2008. But they are very, very slow to actually participate fully in this HARP program and return the favor. FYI: our family’s few assets other than this mortgage have been invested into a local, member-owned credit union. We sleep better at night.

My story has continued well thus far: I was able to reduce my interest rate by 2% and I will now begin paying off the principle with a conventional loan. I have never had one of those! I only save $63 every month but my rate is locked. Stability is beautiful. My hope is that your story can end differently than the path you are probably currently on. I can say confidently that God has something very different in mind for your life as well. It took 6 years to get to this point, and for some people it might take much longer, but once you commit your way out of debt to the Lord, He does provide a way out of it, giving out of his vast riches what you need right when you need it.

About Carly: 

Almost 10 years ago, I married my best friend and it has been a wild ride. From the beginning, we have spent most of our time becoming the adoptive/biological/and/foster parents of three awesome kids. Some highlights that have happened along the way include: going back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree when my daughter was 2. I started out as a vocal performance major and decided I wanted to get a degree that I could use to care for a hurting world in need.

I focused my studies on women and poverty both on a global and local scale. Along with music, these issues have remained my passion to this very day. I traveled to India for a month to study social justice and learned much more than I ever bargained for. I decided to take what I had been learning and apply it to my own life and also to support my local community. I began volunteering in a local non-profit agency that helps low-income women move off of welfare and into jobs with sustainable wages, breaking the generational cycle of poverty in their families. I worked for 5 years with students with disabilities in higher education and recently quit my professional pursuits to become a full time foster parent to support families in our community. Now, I am learning how to align my everyday, ordinary life within the extraordinary context of Isaiah 58.

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