Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My prayers have been answered. :)

So, my FINAL student loan finally posted to the direct loans website. I emailed Adam, my lender with Met Life this morning, to inform him. I asked how it may could affect my loan, and asked what I needed to do to make sure the mortgage loan process ran smoothly.

Long story short, the loan is listed as deferred until October 2011, because the school listed the last day of the school year (4/29/11) as my last day of classes, even though I technically will finish classes in December 2010. Because October 2011 is more than 12 months out, the loan will not count in my debt ratio. Additionally, Adam confirmed today that my credit check was good for 90 days, and Met Life will not be re-pulling my credit just prior to closing.

Hallelujah, Praise Jesus!!!!

If that weren't big enough news today, we also got a blessing in disguise. Apparently, there were a string of burglaries in Lee and Russell Counties over the weekend. The thieves were targeting vacant homes with for sale signs in them. Ours was one of them (even though the sign said "sale pending." What was stolen? The AC Unit. Because we're under contract, Fannie Mae is going to have to buy us a new one. SCORE!!!!!

I cannot WAIT for closing! I'm so excited to get out of this apt complex. It's gone downhill quick. Since our car was broken into a little over a month ago, there have been several other break ins, including a flat screen TV that grew legs and walked away last week.

Thank you God, for getting us out of here...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Student financial aid, military benefits....and waiting

First things first - I wanted to let you all know that the Dave Ramsey ELP in Auburn, Jason Young with Cotton States, gave me a great rate of $469 a year for homeowners insurance. Yes!

I am so anxious about closing on this house, and the lending aspect of it. Because the loan will be in my name only, that has put a great deal of stress on me for the "what ifs" about it going through. Deep down, I feel like everything is going to be okay. I've had a good feeling from the get-go, and I feel certain that things would not be falling into place like they have been if it wasn't meant to be. But at the same time, I just hate waiting to make it official.

The VA will be sending me some education benefits....hopefully sooner rather than later. Once I get this money, I'm going throw it all at the consolidation loan we've got. That loan has a balance of about $6700 right now. The military benefits will eat about 2/3 of it, and the remaining amount should be paid for with my student loan refund disbursement for summer...

Oh wait - yeah the school has been ridiculous to deal with this summer. I have called and emailed, called and emailed and got nowhere. On Thursday, I emailed my slacker of a financial counselor one more time and I basically told him I was tired of dealing with the crap, and I was 2 seconds away from filing a complaint with the department of education. I don't have a copy of the email with me, but I wish I did - I'd share it. I copied a few other folks at the school, and I guess my barking was FINALLY loud enough this time. On Friday, the assistant director for financial services called, luckily, while I was on my lunch break, and we talked for about 45 minutes. When I got back to the office, there was an email with new forms waiting on me to fill out. I was most disgusted with the whole situation because my so-called counselor assured me time and time again that he had all the necessary documents he needed from me to process my aid, but yet, the asst director had me fill out new forms because the ones he had on file were incorrect.

By Friday evening a new award package was posted to my account. I was told that I *should* receive the funds within 2 weeks....July 2nd. Worst case backup scenario if they don't arrive by then - I can transfer the balance of the loan to a credit card with my credit union. It's certainly not ideal (gah! credit cards!) but the rate is actually lower - 10% vs the 12.25% that my loan is currently at. The only reason I haven't transferred it before is the loan balance was still too high to transfer and I didn't want to transfer just a portion of it. I'm holding off on actually doing this transfer though, and will only do it if I absolutely need to shuffle funds around - as you'll see why by reading further....If I do shuffle the loan balance to the credit card, it would be primarily to decrease my debt ratio, because the minimum monthly credit card payment would be significantly less than the consolidation loan payment, and 2, because the interest rate is lower. Even still transferring to the credit card would be a VERY temporary last resort in the even that the funds don't arrive when I need them to, and I would pay it off once they DID finally arrive.

Like I said, I pray and hope that the military benefits and aid arrive sooner rather than later....I need that money to pay off the consolidation loan that I have. I need that consolidation loan paid off to I can decrease my individual debt ratio. This is only a problem because my pre-qualification was so tight, that there's no wiggle room for anything to go wrong....and the fact that my summer financial aid had not posted at the time of pre-qualification, and I'm not sure if my lender took that information into consideration when he pre-qualified me. I was up front and honest with him about it, but I really don't know if he included the last bit of my student loans into his calculations.

This sucks. If the student loans were going to be deferred for at least another year, they wouldn't have to count them in the calculations. But because they call come out of deferment in May, they have to count them. And the thing that sucks even more is that each of the student loan lenders are reporting level repayment options, even though I fully intend to do the graduated repayment option (smaller payments for the first few years, which will get increasingly bigger) so that I can snowball the "extra" money I have each month at paying a bigger chunk at one loan until it's knocked out, and then I'll snowball the next one, and so on and so forth... The other strike with these student loans being in deferment, is that the reason they are all reporting a level repayment option is because I'm not allowed to request a graduated repayment plan until they come out of deferment.

Thank you student loan lenders, for telling my mortgage lender that my debt ratio is higher than what it ACTUALLY will be when I start making the payments because you wont let me go ahead and sign up for the graduated repayment plan. And thank you, GCU, for f*ckin' around and not doing a damn thing until I barked so loud that the asst director had to contact me and promised to expedite my aid. I should hope so, a full 7 weeks into a 16 week session of classes when I should have been paid in full by the end of week 4!!!! If I had been paid at the end of week 4, that damn consolidation loan would have been paid off already and my debt ratio would have dropped significantly anyway, and the summer disbursement would have appeared on my credit so there would have been no question if my lender included it in his calculations for my pre-qual. Of course, my lender did say that he thinks I'll be okay - he specifically told me not to do any shuffling right now. I wont do anything (expect actual payoffs) without asking him first. The last thing I need is to shuffle money around in a way that looks shady and they drop my loan altogether and financing falls though.

Moral of the story: Don't take out student loans. If I had it to do all over again, I would have only taken out the tuition cost only while in grad school...I didn't have the option to pay cash. I only went back to grad school to get my dream job. I got it, but it would have been stupid to drop out of grad school, so I've continued forward. December cannot get here fast enough.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homeowners Insurance

So today I met with my lender to sign my life away on a bunch of forms. He told me that I needed to start shopping for homeowners insurance to be added in with my escrow account. The first quote I got was with Progressive. Our auto and renters insurance is through progressive, so I thought it would be simple. Yeah right. The quote was over $3000 a year...and everyone - and I mean EVERYONE I have talked to has said that it should only be about $600 a year.

I checked out USAA and State Farm - which were both about $1200 a year.

Geico was $850.

I still haven't found a quote for ~$600. I did, however, request that a Cotton States provider contact me. There's an agent in Auburn who is endorsed by Dave Ramsey, so hopefully I'll have some better luck with him. In the mean time - if any of you have ideas on who I should check out, let me know. Thanks!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wish List

Well, Jonny and I have been talking about things we've got to do to the house, and making our wish list.

Paint Living Room
Paint Master Bed/Bath
Carpet for Master Bedroom
Remove Wall Paper and Paint Guest Bath
Paint Dining Room/Kitchen

Funny story about the living room...I wasn't planning on painting it, because it looks like a light tan me anyway. Jonny said "Um, no, it's pink." So when we were at the inspection on Friday I looked at it close, and I have to admit, it's one of those weird colors, that *could* be pink. You all know how much I DESPISE pink. When it was tan, I didn't care, but PINK? Heavens no. If there's any chance it could be mistaken for pink, it's gotta be changed.

So, we've decided to paint the dining room and kitchen a yellow color, the living room will be green - like guacamole green, and our bedroom will be a blue color. I'm not sure about the guest bathroom color yet - probably a tan or off-white color.

Also, because we're moving from an apartment to a house, we have a wish list of furniture and decorative items and other things that we will need:

sofa table & mirror
leaning bookshelf or bakers rack
art for over fireplace
area rug (pref 8*10 but 5*8 will be okay too.)

Eventually, I'd like some new dinnerware, cookware, and flatware, but those are further down on the priority list. For everything else, I am planning on yard-saling it, and trying to find super deals between now and then. I do NOT want some ugly flower based area rug. I prefer something modern or contemporary - circles, stripes, squares, whatever...and hopefully something with some green in it to go with the walls. I found one at Lowes that I'll be okay with if I don't find something else soon. If you guys know of anywhere I can find these things in a great deal - please let me know!!!

It's becoming VERY easy to dream big right now, and the temptation is definitely there to go out and overspend on things we "need," but we aren't going to let the dreams consume our lives. Okay, so I may have some flimsy ugly blinds with no curtains for a little while, but eventually, I'll be able to acquire everything I want.

Just doing the waiting game now....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We're buying a house!


Those of you on FB already know this but...we found a house!!!

So after some hiccups with prequalification, we finally got word on how much the bank was willing to give us right now. We weren't sure if we wanted to hold off and wait until we could pay more debt down, so we could qualify for more, or look within the parameters they would allow us. We decided to go ahead and look, because there may be something perfect for us, and at this price range, the payments would be low...

We found one last Thursday that was slightly out of our price range, but we decided to put an offer in on it anyway. We thought the seller might be motivated to sell, and maybe we'd be lucky. Nahh. We were a little bummed, but figured it wasn't meant to be. In fact, we turned around and went looking at houses again on Sunday, and THAT is when we found "the one..."

It was the second house we looked at on Sunday. We both were very impressed. Pros about the house? 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a separate shower and garden tub in the master. Covered Carport, hardwood (okay, parquet) floors, Vaulted ceiling, BIG kitchen (yes!) Separate dining area from the great room, fireplace, storage shed...and something we just found out today after getting a layout of the ploy of land...a BIG BIG YARD. I see the clearing of some trees in my, er, Jonny's future....

So on Monday, we put in an offer, and after some back and forth banter, we became official. So then we started jumping through the VA Loan requirement hoops. the house is a Fannie Mae foreclosure, and they aren't paying for anything extra...They are taking care of the termite letter and that's about it. We ha to get septic records from the county, and scheduled a septic inspection. If the inspection comes back good, we're good, if not, we'll have to pay to get it pumped. Our buyers inspection was today, and everything was minor fixes that we'll be able to handle easily. So the next stop is the VA Appraisal. Our inspector informed us of a few things the VA appraiser may ding, but then again, s/he may not. So at this point, we're still in the waiting game. Once the appraisal is done, and we know what the VA requires to be fixed (if anything) then we plan to ask Fannie Mae to do the repairs, but we figure they probably wont, so more than likely, we will have to pay for those things to be fixed before we'll be allowed to close.

The crappy part of this whole thing, though, is that Alabama is a right to rescission state - which means that for foreclosed homes, the original owner has a year to pay up to be current and then they can reclaim their home. Say WHAT? So in order to protect ourselves, we have to buy title bond insurance, because we don't know how long its been since the house was foreclosed on.'s 1% of appraisal price....which is 121K. So I have to have $1210 at closing for title bond insurance. Crap. Well, in the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad. We're already shelled out our escrow and the payment for the septic inspection and buyers inspection....if things go well, we wont have to do anything else until closing, with the exception of any repairs the VA appraiser may require, which we anticipate will only be a few hundred bucks, if that.

So that's about it. We're now in a hurry up and wait situation. 34 days until closing. I pray that the VA appraiser doesn't find anything that we aren't already aware of, and that the septic is not in crappy (no pun intended) condition. Hopefully all will go well, and we'll close on time.... Weee!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Here's another one

Lunch is over, so I don't have time to really comment on this one. Just going to shake my head in disbelief.... STUPID. How do you not know how mcuh student loan debt you're taking out????

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Irresponsible Home THIEVES

If you've read my previous post, you'll see that I cannot qualify for [clarification: as much home as I would like] due to lenders tightening up their reigns. Why? Because of asshats like these:

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.

“Instead of the house dragging us down, it’s become a life raft,” said Mr. Pemberton, who stopped paying the mortgage on their house here last summer. “It’s really been a blessing.”

You know what? If you buy a house, and you don't pay on it, guess what that makes you? A THIEF. Yes, a THIEF. You promised to pay, and then you stopped. HOW DARE YOU???

And yeah, I know there are people who may be reading this who have either gone through a foreclosure, or know someone close to them who has. I'm not one bit sorry for my comments. Yeah, the economy sucks, but there is ALWAYS a way to work on your obligations, even if you cant quite meet them. To stop paying on your house so that you can have fun on your boat, or go to an upscale steakhouse is DISGUSTING...

Actually, I should be thanking you. Thank you for forcing the lenders to not be allowed to sucker me into buying more home than I can afford. Thank you for forcing the lenders to hold me responsible, and for me to have realistic expectations on a home I can afford so that if something ever happened to me in the future, I wouldn't be so down on my luck that the only way to go boating or out to eat would be to take on the personality of a thief and STEAL from the lenders.

Good GOD I'm in a mood. This article fired me up. These selfish people are going to get what's coming to way or another.