November 24, 2010

Asking Always Pays

Filed under: budgets,debt,money — by elysianconfusion @ 4:56 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, I finally bugged my darling husband into calling our credit union to see if they could do anything for us. We’re in the lovely position of being at least not underwater on our house, but certainly not at 80%, which makes it really hard to refinance at lower rates (or fix already low ones). And our credit union services our loan (good), but that means it’s not a Freddie Mac or a Fannie Mae (bad, because then there’s no Making Homes Affordable for us).

I mentioned my distress last week, but now I have excellent news! The bank is sending us paperwork, fixing the home equity loans (together) at 4.99 (down from 6.5 on the big one and 4 but variable on the low one) for 10 years. This reduces our rate, our interest and our term. It does increase the payment by 54$ a month, but it’s TOTALLY worth it!

I think we’ll save about 5k in interest (without including snowball planning). Also, there is no penalty for pre-payment and there are no closing costs.

I was feeling so frustrated, because I already owe them the money, they should want to help me — and THEY DID! Hurray!

So, anyone out there thinking it’s not worth asking — you’re wrong. Even if you don’t get what you want, at least you know you asked!

Happy Thanksgiving!


November 18, 2010

Giving Thanks for Every Day

Ok, first of all, today’s grand total is… no drum roll, I think … $352,211.05. Down by $2,274.39.

And what have I accomplished? Feels like nothing much. I did decide to charge $40/hour for copy writing and editing. My husband said $50, another friend suggested $75. The range out there was huge. At the end of the day, I felt like it was my first free lance job and I don’t know how I’m going to do, and it’s my brother in law. So. There you have it.

I’m really wishing I could consolidate my mortgage and home equity loans, but you know what? I really can’t. I don’t have enough equity to be allowed to do it. And because my loans are through my credit union and have no affiliation with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, I can’t do anything like the Making Home Affordable plan. What annoys me even more is that I don’t even want to reduce my payments or increase my terms! I just want to fix the buggers at a low rate so I’m not worried about future adjustments. Seems like I’m totally out of luck on that front. (Can you hear the huge sigh?)

I haven’t yet figured out new 529 plans. I haven’t figured out whether my 401k dollars are going in the right place. I hate trying to figure it out. I’ve read that Index Funds are the way to go but that the ING Retirement Plans have index funds with high associated costs. I also gathered that I shouldn’t look at MorningStar ratings, which is included in my ING account and apparently partly what the people who choose available funds for my account are using. Great.

Anyone want to help me out here?

1164 ING Index Solution 2055 Port Adv:


Gross Prosp Exp Ratio 1.06% of fund assets

Net Prosp Exp Ratio 1.06% of fund assets

Management Fee 0.10%

12b-1 Fee 0.50%

Other Fee .

Miscellaneous Fee(s) 0.46%

Fund Inception Date 03-08-10

They all seem similar.

Still, with all of this, I’m thankful for my family and my life, and I know we are so fortunate in so many ways.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

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