Rites of passage . . .

Here in the US, we like to mark certain events as “expected transitions” that mark changes in the progress of our lives.

Learning to walk

Starting School

First Kiss

Prom

HS Graduation

College Graduation (if it applies)

First “Real” Job

First NEW Car

Homeownership

Well, between us, my wife and I have all of those covered, and then some.  And as of today, we’re adding one more:  Refinance the Home Loan.

It’s an interesting story.  It started off with us getting a good, but not stellar, loan approval from a small office that looked exactly like the small business we wanted to support.  Then, at closing, they slid in another piece of paperwork for us to sign, stating that we agreed they would have a right to sell our loan to someone else.  We were assured that it was just a legal formality, and they would likely not use it.  Before the first payment was due, we got a letter stating that the loan had been sold to Bank of America.

We cussed, groused, and fumed, but we made all of our payments on time for over 3.5 years.  No, we didn’t suddenly miss a payment.  Instead, we got a letter saying that BofA had sold our loan to PennyMac.  Then, PennyMac said that our escrow didn’t cover some sort of annual title fee, and if we didn’t cough up the amount in full our monthly payments were going to go up.  We paid it – and then our monthly payments went up anyhow.  So, I called in to complain, and the lady on the phone quickly said that I was right, and everything was being corrected.  Just as we were about to hang up, she said, “Oh, is this accurate?  Is this a VA loan?”  Well, yes, I am a veteran.

She asked if I’d be willing to talk to one of their loan agents who specialized in VA loans, because there was a chance that a re-finance would reduce our payments.  Sure, I’ll talk to him – but I thought to myself that I’m not holding my breath, because we’ve been sinking most of our disposable cash into house updates, and aren’t really in a position to pay closing costs on another loan.

When he got on the line, he was very polite, even friendly.  And by the time I was done talking to him, he was suggesting that if we refinanced with a new program specifically for disabled veterans, there would be no closing costs, no out-of-pocket expenses on our part at all, and they might be able to shave half a percent off our interest rate.

We jumped.  On Thursday I got a call that the application had been approved, the interest rate went down 0.52%, and the Notary is coming to our house today to sign the final paperwork.  Oh, the joys of home ownership!

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