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Financial Questions & Answers

Financial Questions & Answers

Question:

I have a first mortgage of $201,000 at 5.8 percent, a second of $81,000 at 2.49 percent, and six credit cards totaling $24,000. I’m looking into refinancing the first mortgage for 20 years at 4.37 percent for monthly savings of $203. – Steve

Answer:

We think it’s a smart idea to lock in a lower rate on your first mortgage. Beyond that we think you ought to get some outside help sorting through your situation. A first and second mortgage along with $24K of credit card debt seems like a pretty big nut. How did you get there? Do you have a written budget? If so, it sounds as if it could use a little tweaking. The problem with a consolidation loan is if you’re not living within your means now, this could be a recipe for financial disaster. What we mean is that you could end up with a consolidation loan and possibly credit card balances again.
A credit counselor associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, www.nfcc.org, should be able to help you map out a solid game plan to knock down that debt. There’s nothing wrong for asking for a little help and it may go a long way towards making changes in spending and cash flow adjustments that can put you on the path to financial success.