2nd Mortage, CC Debt - Confused-What to do? Suggestions?

cathie54July 5, 2006

Sorry - this is long...

I & my "significant other" (aka "hubby") bot house end Sept '03 for $134,000. (1st time homebuyer for me - hubby has bot houses in past). We had to do 80/20 loans, as closing costs, inspections, etc. cost us about $10,000, and I didn't want to completely deplete my "safety net" savings.

We got fist mtg for $107,000 @ (either 5-5/8 or 6-5/8% - not sure now - I think it's 5-5/8), and 2nd for $27.000 @ 8%. BOTH ARE FIXED RATES.

5 yr Prepay penalty on first, 3 yr prepay penalty on 2nd.

There wasn't supposed to be any prepay penalties - but, there they were on the docs when we signed! Since time was of essesnce back then (and after me complaining - haha), I realized that it really didn't matter - since we knew we couldn't pay either of these off in those timeframes anyway - unless we hit the lotto. So, I let it go.

Hubby has hardly anything worth mentioning owed on a credit card - not a problem.

I have 3 cc's with high balances: (balances/min dues are approximates):

1) $1900.00 @4.9 % (for a few more months - limited time) - Min due $30.00 - always pay $100.00/month. (plan to trf this to lower - or zero - APR offer before rates go up)

2) $1530.00 @ 4.99 % ('till paid in full - as long as I don't default) - min due $24.00 = always pay $100.00/month.

3) $4230.00 @ 3.99 $ ('till paid in full - as long as I don't default) - min due $62.00 - always pay $100.00/month.

Hubby has been paying house pymt., his phone, internet, his cc, and his other misc work related. I pay my cc's, utilities, my phone, basic cable - (our only form of entertainment - other than the internet! haha - we do not go out). We share in cost of food/personal supplies, etc. We never go to stores for clothes and junk.

Here's the deal: Our 2nd mtg is a 30 yr loan, due in 15 yrs. Our "first year anniversary", we made double pymt on 1st & second. (Also, hubby was making small additional pymts to 1st and 2nd loans for a short while).

2nd anniversary year, we didn't have $$ to make that "13th pymt" (plumbings problem, etc...thus some of the CC debt of mine.)

"I" thot it made better sense to apply all extra pymts to the 2nd only. So, he has been doing that. Pymt on 2nd is just about $200/mo. He was paying $250 - then $300/month last several months towards 2nd. I think our balance is around $22,000 on second now.

We're ending our 3rd year.

Our prepay penalty on the 2nd expires end Sept. this year.

We have to be careful to not pay TOO much extra before our "anniversary date", else we will be penalized.

I want the 2nd paid off ASAP! I am willing to put a small chunk of money ($1200.00 or more) towards the 2nd after our prepay date expires.

On the other hand, I have those dang cc balances.

My $1200 or more won't pay off anything, but will put a small dent in something.

I really don't know which way to go. The 2nd is @ 8%. My outstanding CC's are at lower %'s.

We aren't "spring chickens" anymore. I'm on SSDI, and hubby has some health problems too. I only get about $1000/mo. Hubby is self employed, so his income varies.

Having the 2nd paid off would lower our house pymt by $200/mo. - Even with that, I don't know if either of us could survive, keep the house, if something happened to one of us. (Unless we got a roommate - and it still probably wouldn't cover all)

(I'm not even worried about the 1st mtg right now)


I refuse to re-fi or take out ARM's.

I don't know which way to go come Oct. this year:

Slam down min of $1200 towards 2nd all at once, slam the $1200 on a CC, or just continue the cc's, and pay x-tra $100/mo towards 2nd (more if able) - on top of what hubby makes???

I like to keep my "safety net" savings (which are currently in 90 day cd's) for emergencies.

As far as taxes go, I don't get enough $$ to file. I'm below poverty!haha! Hubby gets all the tax writeoffs.

Sorry this is so long - but thot I needed to supply as much info as possible to come to conclusion.

What opinions, if any, and WHY?

Thx so much in advance!

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My opinion is: Make min. payments on CC #1 & #3 and pay off #2. Since you have $1200 to throw at something, throw it at that. Then I would go after #1, and then pay off #2. I would not make any extra payments to the mortgage until you have a comfortable savings built up. Pre-payments on a mortgage will do nothing for you in the event of a problem.

So, I would pay off credit cards first

Establish a comfortable savings

Start paying off your 2nd mortgage.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 6:55PM
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devorah: Interesting... put towards #2 cc because???....highest APR, lowest balance?

I failed to mention that (aside from the 1st mtg right now), I have a very difficult time making minimum pymts on anything. Just a habit I got into years ago...
I have considered re-distributing my pymts tho - say, for example - pay $80/$80/$140 instead of $100/$100/$100. (I need to work numbers...hard to LOWER monthly pymt on any after "getting into the habit".

#1 cc is of more concern to me - as the lower APR time will expire - it was only for a certain amount of months.

I haven't opened (or tried to open) any new accounts for about 5 years - been trying to avoid it. IF I must, I will try get new cc for 0% APR for 12 or 15 months...BUT, I ONLY want to trf amt that I KNOW will be paid off in that time frame. (Which would be cc #1 balance for sure - unless that one offers a better rate when the time comes...it's actually too soon to figure that out right now.)

I'm not sure what you mean about this:
"Pre-payments on a mortgage will do nothing for you in the event of a problem."

Are you talking about "pre-pay penalties", or "x-tra pymts" toward 2nd?

I don't like having that 2nd mtg @ 8%. I want to pay it off in LESS than 15 yrs. (I'd actually like to think it would be paid off in the next 5 yrs maximum)
I don't like the cc debt also!

I've already resolved that it will take about 4 yrs to pay off cc #3. lol!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Do you and your DH have enough mortgage interest, taxes, etc, to itemize your income taxes? If so, you are not paying income taxes on that amount, so that 8% isn't so bad, since the interest is tax deductible, unlike CC interest.

Knowing that the rate on #1 is going to expire, I think I would concentrate on it. It sounds like you are a very determined woman...a 'good' thing.
Just another thought.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:19AM
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I just picked #2 because it has the lowest balance and if I understood your posting correctly, you could just about pay it off now. Of course do what makes sense to you. My main point is that I think you should put paying off the mortgage early last on your list. The reason is that extra payments will not have any immediate effect on what you owe each month. IF you get into trouble, your mortgage holder will not let you convert those extra payments into credit for missed payments. In my opinion, that puts you in a far riskier position than putting any extra money toward paying off your credit cards or savings.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 1:39PM
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chemocurl - Hubby does his own taxes and takes all the write-offs. He's self employed, so I'm sure he itemizes every year. I really don't get involved in his taxes.
Yes, that #1 cc is nagging, because of the limited time APR.

devorah - I see. Makes sense. #2 cc could be paid off by end of year, instead of 16 months from now. (Or, cc #1 could be paid off in about 8 months - rather than about 20 months.) The x-tra then to go towards the remaining balances. Gives me more to think about...(Back to the drawing board - haha!)

I feel a little guilty about not paying anything towards the house pymts on a monthly basis. Hubby says its OK, but I still don't feel good about it. (But then I helped him pay off one of his cc's a couple years ago - so...lol!)

Well DUH! I just remembered another important reason to pay the cc's - my income to debt ratio is blown. That needs to be fixed too. (So many things to ponder...Gawd, I wish I could go back to work! Time to sell some stuff on ebay I guess)

Off to take an aspirin, and then start taking pictures of "stuff"...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 3:26PM
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Hello all,
OK, go back to my orig post for this one. That #1 on my CC debt was about $1900 @ 4.9% for limited time. That rate is finally expiring end of this month, and will go up to about 11.16% (as of last month when I called anyway - guess I somehow got into variable rather than fixed somewhere along the line).
Current status: Bal of about $950.00. (YAY! But not good enuf! haha) I've called at least 3 times in last couple months to see if they will extend the low APR. They tell me I have to wait until the low rate expires, THEN call back. I've never called to see if anyone would "extend" the low APR before - I've just either had it paid off or trf'd balances.
Last conversation - I asked if this is a common thing? Do you (the company) normally do this sort of thing? She said Yes, they do things like this all the time.

Just tonite, I got to wondering. I've heard/read "things" about calling your CC to negotiate a lower rate if possible.

MY QUESTION to anyone who knows...Does this negatively affect your credit score to do something like this? I CAN trf the balance, but prefer NOT to do that. But if it would negatively impact my credit score, I will do a bal trf to a card I already have with no outstanding balance.

I've had this acc't for a very long time and in good standing. I need to figure all this out VERY soon. IF it would have negative impact to do such, I'd rather pay the 4% "fee" to trf, and cut back on the other CC pymts for about 4 or 5 months to get this sucker paid off. (OR...would it make more sense to "just live with" the higher APR, leave it where it is, and still slam on it for the next 4 or 5 months?!!!)

Thx to all - I will check back soon as I can! (Back to the drawing board!)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 4:17AM
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I may be wrong, but I believe that credit score is based on # of credit lines, payment history, and credit limit (amt. of money avail. to you & how much of that you are using). How you've used your credit. I don't think that the interest rate that you pay has a thing to do with it. So paying on time, and keeping the amts. you owe low compared to your limits are the key factors.

Good luck on getting that low rate extended!-- Raee

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Thx - What I meant is: Would there be any negatives if you negotiate a lower APR on a current outstanding debt.

But - nevermind...
I called today and found out that the LAST info I rec'd was WRONG, and the rate already went up to 12.__% ! Best they could do is submit something to see if I can get better rate, but would take 5-7 days. I told them I won't wait, I want to settle this now. Trf'd to superviser. Best he can do is give me 11.__% . I asked if that's the BEST the can do? YES. OK, I said, so that's that.

Called another card. Got offered 2.99% for 12 months OR 1% for 9 months. Took the 1%. Yes, there was a fee, but it's better than 11 or 12%! This will finally be paid off in 9 months or less! (YAY!)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 10:27PM
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How much is the transfer fee?

Who grabs that - the people that you're leaving, or the ones into which you're transferring (in order to let you make use of the low rate)?

If it's the ones that you're leaving, maybe the guys into which you're transferring will also pick up at least part of the tab. Just an idea.

You don't ask - you don't get.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 3:13AM
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Trf fee is 4% (I know, bad. But some others have also gone up to 4% with NO CAP! - I DO read all those pesky "change of terms" fine print - lol!) and that fee is pd to the party I trf'd TO. (No fee for the trf FROM)
My actual balance was (as of 4:00pm) $945.34.
I trf'd $925.00, leaving a bal of $20.34 on the old account. They said it will take 3 to 6 days to go thru. The trf fee amount is $37.00. (4% of $925.00)

Then I went online and paid another $20.00 (in addition to what I already paid towards the old) which should be pd to the old on Thursday, 04/26/07 - leaving a balance of 34 cents plus any finance charges. Pymt due date: 04/30/07. (I've already pd $94.12 - which has been posted, and when the $20.00 goes thru - ttl pd $114.12 this statement).

So, Now once the thing goes thru, I will owe $962.00! Doesn't make sense, but better 1% than 12+% per month for 9 months???

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 4:13AM
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Trf went thru in 3 days. Bal on old = 0.34 (34 cents) plus any interest they may apply. Just now called - statement closing date early next week.

When I verified trf went thru to the "new" old account, Immediately made pymt online for $62.00 - as I found statement close date was still about 2+ weeks away. (I just 'needed' to get a pymt in before that 1st close date! lol) SO, bal is $900.00 plus any interest they apply.

NOW - I'm all confused what to do that makes more sense.

1) Figure out how much to pay each month before 1.00% APR expires to have it paid in full at that time, and pay it?

2) Pay only minimum or a bit more, and put the difference into Money Market Account @ 2.9% APY, then pay it off at just prior to end of CC term?

3) Pay only min or a bit more every month, Open a 6 mo CD currently @ 5.00% APY / 4.98 dividend rate - then pull it at maturity and pay CC off? (I can open a CD for min of $500.00 - but would probably want to deposit at least $700)

I'm thinking the CD route.

I know this is "small change" to many, but I don't have tons of money to work with like a lot of you!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 10:22PM
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I think you can get 5% in a money market. Someone here gave me a link to a great blog that tracks the latest rates

If you decide to wait until the end to pay it, please be really careful to know when it is due so the rate does not get raised. In some cases you end up owing everything you would have paid for the previous time period

Here is a link that might be useful: Bank Blog

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 11:18PM
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OUCH! Did a consolidation "LOAN" about 30+ (?) years ago. Four months into it, I realized I made a BIG mistake!

I HAVE "consolidated" CC debt since, but only on higher CC APR's to lower CC APR - thus, that one biggie I have! LOL!

I don't advocate 'consolidation' unless it's a last resort short of filing bankrupt! (OR..IF one can get WAY lower APR than CC's! - and even with that, I'd have to do some serious number crunching!)

WOW! I am impressed! Not extremely happy in my position yet, but impressed none-the-less. I just went back and read the 'numbers' in initial post.

Hard to believe a year has ALREADY passed...yet another year (or even 7 to 8 months seems TOO long in future!)

I have made PROGRESS! I owe 'ONLY' just under $700.00 on that #1 CC from my initial post. Under $850.00 on #2 CC, and just under $3400.00 on #3 CC.

Min due on these combined dropped from $116.00 to $80.00/mo.

SOMEHOW - I managed to pay off over $2700.00 on these - PLUS, I went against everyone's advice and pd $1800.00 towards the 2nd on house last year - lol!

BUT OOPS! I did major grocery shopping spree around Christmas Holiday - (MUST take advantage of those food sales!) - still owe about $300.00 on THAT! PLUS, my eyeglasses broke...PLUS, my HMO went from ZERO to about $68.00/mo fees this year.

So...not sure if I'm ahead or behind! Still, am liking the looks of those #'s now compared to last year!

Slowly but surely - still plugging along!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 10:09AM
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Hi again cathie 54,

I'm wondering how your payment program has been working for the past few months.

I think that we should all offer you a hearty "Congratulations!" on having achieved as much reduction as you have in the mortgages and the credit card debts over the year from the time that you first came on until your report this summer.

I was a bit concerned over your putting as much prepayment as you did on your second mortgage.

The trouble is that, should you have a reduction in income for a while, and be unable to make the required mortgage payments, the lenders would not take into account the fact that you had made overpayments at earlier times ... they want this months's payments that you contracted for ... and they want them now.

I prefer to have clients have some money on hand in case of emergencies. Sometimes that's even more important for people who are getting by on minimal income.

I hope that you don't have any unexpected, serious and expensive emergencies during the next few months, to allow you to build up some funds on hand.

As I said - congratulations on your achievement during the past year.

I hope that things are still going well for you folks.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:13PM
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Hmmm...Wasn't going to post for another couple months! lol

But, CC#1 = $170.00 (maybe a bit less), & plans are to have it pd OFF by years' end. (I actually have till Jan '08 statement for the low rate to expire - which wouldn't be so detrimental due to the low balance) I hate the bank tho, and really wanted to pay it off sooner! But that didn't happen.

CC#2 = Don't know exactly, but definately under $700.00. Next closing date is SOON. (I haven't been focusing so much on CC #'s 2 or 3, as they are fixed unless I default on ANY payment! - oh I don't like the sound of that 'clause')

CC#3 = About $3150.00.

AND...That "Oops!" CC bal is paid in full - YAY! (And I m SO patting myself on my back for THAT one! haha)

PLUS, I paid our full mortgage payment(s) this month, plus about $150.00 over on 2nd. (YUP! I just couldn't pay minimum only. I want that 2nd paid OFF ASAP!)

OH! AND...I started "paying myself first" last May - min 10%. BUT, after the first "pay myself", I decided to play "catch up" for the year, so I started paying myself 20% or whatever more I could.
Also ran across an opportunity to lock in some CD's @ 5.45% APY - so I did that, and I trf'd some old 3 mo cd's into 6 mo cd's for the higher rate. They are in such a manner that I cannot easily get my hands on the money! LOL!

So, basically, I'm living on the "below the edge of poor"!

Christmas has been discussed, and we are going to do nothing except maybe take advantage of food sales, and IF we NEED something like thermals or sweats to keep warm, or a new battery for my trusty 18 yr old $2.00 hand calculator, or stuff to go into septic system...
The ONLY gift we may buy is something for my Mother, which will probably be small $ amt gift certs for her favorite grocery stores or resturants (people from her church oft frequent places for Sunday lunch, and many times she doesn't go if it's expensive.)

The GOOD thing is, we've had a sorta fairly mild summer. So, I've been able to use more $$ to pay towards bills. I have done some shifting on my pay plan to get CC #1 paid off (hopefully by years' end), and to get that "Oops" paid off. I've been SLAMMING on that #1 for awhile. (Sometimes it's a GOOD thing to hate a certain company - motivates ME to not give them any more $$$! LOL!)

BUT, I'm going to have to slow down now, as winter is approaching - need to be prepared for those high heating costs for about 4 months! (We have heavy drapes, but bad windows! It gets SO cold here in winter, and I HATE the cold in my home!)

I feel pretty good for now about my debt pay plan and how much I've paid off. I'm very impatient tho. I wanted more paid off SOONER. I've been obsessed with my bills and constantly reviewing them. (Sometimes 3 or 4 times a month lately - it's like I have a 'bulls-eye', and only one chance to hit it!) It's going to be hard to 'slow down' over the winter to adjust to high energy costs.

We've already taken a big hit on less income in the household. We will adjust - at least for a short while. I will keep reviewing where we stand, and hopefully we will survive! IF it comes necessary to start digging into my pittance of savings, it's time for some serious decission making...(like I haven't already been thinking about that? Yes I HAVE!)

For NOW, I need a big pat on my back for what I have accomplished! LOL! (I've a feeling next year is going to be even tougher than this!)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 3:15PM
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