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Posts tagged with: credit union

Guess what I just did…..

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Happy Friday, all!

Guess what I just did!!!

car(source)

I just refinanced our auto loan for a MUCH better rate!! Eeeek!!!!!!

I was originally going to wait longer in hopes that my credit score would improve (I’d had a terrible debt-to-credit ratio so I thought my recent additional payments would help my score go up), but then I logged into Credit Karma and discovered that my score has already gone up a great deal and it turns out I have already attained an “A” rating in my debt-to-credit ratio! Wahoo!!

It feels like just yesterday I was barely dipping below the 50% debt-to-credit ratio, and now I’m below 20%!!

And – thanks, Reader (I can’t remember who – tell me in the comments!) for recommending PenFed! I went online, applied for an auto refinance and the whole process was absolutely easy and seamless. I thought it would be a long, drawn out thing and I was picturing myself having to go into an actual branch somewhere, wait around to talk to a banker, sign a billion documents, etc etc etc. But not so with PenFed! The entire thing was done online very quickly (maybe 15 minutes?) and at the end I walked away with a shiny new interest rate of 2.49% APR (compared to the 7.75% APR I have been paying to CarMax Auto Finance).

So my check went out in the mail today and should be here next week. At that point I’ll pay CarMax in full and have a new lien holder for the Explorer.

I’m kicking myself a little because my loan amount is the exact (to the penny) amount of my 10-day payoff at Carmax. I’m kind of wishing I’d applied for a bit extra to knock out some of my higher interest debts (although I know others “poo poo” this type of balance transfer). For better or worse its done now.

This also means my monthly payments are going to lower (by about $100!). As tempted as I am to keep paying the same amount, I’m going to put that extra money toward higher interest debt and try to get it gone! Only about $2200 between me and being credit card debt-free (of course, I have other debts….but the CCs are what prompted me to begin blogging here in the first place).

Very exciting stuff! Wahoo!!!


Great News from the Credit Union!

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I went into the credit union today to put the signature loan in my name alone–pursuant to the divorce decree.  While I was there I asked about options regarding both the interest rate on the loan as well as borrowing additional amounts to knock down one of the other two cards.  I am so happy to report that they lowered my interest rate to 4% AND increased the loan amount to $20,000!  I couldn’t believe it but then realized that I am better off standing on my own credit rating than combining with my former spouse!  Just another validation about the whole marital mess!

I’ll complete the final paperwork later this week and then make a payment to Bank of America to bring that balance down.  The BofA will continue to be my focus because A) the interest rate is the highest and B) say it with me…I hate Bank of America!  I’ll update the numbers when all of the transfers and such are complete.

Happy Day!  I’m feeling GREAT!  What a total shot in the arm at the beginning of this new year!


Skip-A-Month from the Credit Union

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Once or twice a year our credit union will pre-approve us to skip the monthly payments on all of our loans.  They offered it for July and after discussion and some math–we took them up on it.  The interest rates on all three loans with the credit union are significantly less than our other debt.  (2.9% on both vehicles, 11.9% on the signature loan).  We were able to send a larger payment to Bank of America (the lender I hate more and more every day) today ($1200 instead of $580), pay extra to the smallest balance card ($100 instead of $50) and free up some cash for the inevitable vacation spending (so that we didn’t incur more debt while on the trip).

This time I write to inform…not seek opinions to act.  However, I always welcome feedback (the good, the bad and the ugly) on this financial decision.  I’m here to read these this time and won’t be replying due to current time constraints.  Did I mention I had work travel this week?  Overnight Wednesday to late last night.  I’m a walking zombie at the moment.  Note to self:  mark myself “unavailable for travel” the week after vacation! Bring on the weekend!


We <3 our Credit Union!

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I made time today to call Discover in an effort to get that awful 18.24% interest lowered.  There’s about a $7,000 balance on this stupid card but with a good pay history and a long relationship…I thought I might be able to get some interest knocked off.  After making it past their first layer of defense I was sent to a “specialist.” I explained to her that we have implemented an aggressive financial plan as of 1/1/12 and lowering this interest rate will dramatically help in the debt reduction plan.  She reviewed my account, praised me for my on time payments, advised that this card is best used for regular monthly expenses that are paid during the grace period so the cash back benefit can be best utilized.  After the reminder of what I SHOULD have done was over, I let her know that my credit union had made a good offer on a balance transfer option–at 10% I threw out there–but I wanted to end things well with Discover so our future relationship could be protected (or something like that) and she politely said “no.”  I was bluffing because honestly I didn’t think the credit union would extend any credit to us! Allrighty then.  I reworded my request a couple of different ways but nada!  This created an internal reaction for me that I can’t really describe—I wasn’t offended but I guess both frustrated and irritated!  I likely would have been happy with 5% off taking it to 13.24% but to offer nothing simply motivated me!

The next thing you know I am on our credit union’s website completing a “signature loan” application!  I double checked with the hubs of course. I’ve banked with this credit union since 1985 and my Dad since long before that year–the 1950’s I believe.  My husband and I opened our joint account there even before we married as we saved money for our wedding trip with the kids.  He had banked with traditional banks in the past and liked what he saw with the credit union. We have a very good history with them and they have always been very good to us—this doesn’t mean they’ve always given me the credit I’ve asked for (thank goodness!) but always very fair.  We asked for $11,000 to pay off 4 credit cards.  Within 2 hours we received the email letting us know we were approved!!!  While not the 10% I envisioned, we did get 11.4%!!!  It is a 48 month pay off but that makes the minimum payment $280 and we already pay $340 on those cards each month.  Taking that $340 (and yes, we plan to pay more than that) this credit union signature loan would be paid off in 40 months.  If we pay $500 per month (completely doable barring any unforeseen issues), we are looking at 25 months to payoff.  We did some quick calculations–taking just the minimums on these 4 cards…if we had never started paying attention and just kept paying the minimums, we would have paid $26,230.46 in interest!!!!! Barf.  If we go with the $340 “minimum” that would be $2,356.13 and if we do the $500 per month…that amount goes down to $1,485.15!  That’s an approximate $25,000 savings!!!!  And as I type this my husband is saying that we will do $800.00 a month and that means 15 months and only $893.14 in interest.  UNBELIEVABLE!

We’ll finalize this loan this coming week.  I am feeling very, very thankful for the options I DO have.  Please know none of this is lost on me.  I am so grateful that we have options—and so, so grateful that my path led me to this blog and that I was selected to share my story.  🙂  Thank you to everyone who has nudged me via comments.  While I may not be able to respond to all, I read every single one and truly take the advice to heart.  Is there an emoticon for “beaming!”  ??? Thank you!


Old Financial Habits Die Hard…

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I was driving home from work last night when I noticed a new billboard. The local credit union was advertising car loan rates starting at 2.9% and suggested all motorists finance or refinance vehicles into their ‘great low rate’.

‘Hmm. Maybe I should consider refinancing this baby’ I thought as I tapped the steering wheel of my Mazda. ‘What am I paying now? 5.9%?’ I wondered.

I kept repeating the name of the credit union in my head over the next few miles until I remembered one fairly important fact…

We paid off my car two years ago when we decided to change our lives to become debt free.

I am so used to paying payments for everything in my life that not having a payment is still a foreign concept. I still smile when I remember… that payment is GONE!!! It was a nice ride home.