Refinance Via a Coupon?
December 1, 2009 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Refinance via junk mail?

Just got off the phone with the SO and she tells me we qualified for a refinance saving $140/mo with a lower APR and no closing costs but here's the thing - we got the refinance offer in our junk mail from a small-ish bank, that does have a web site, but doesn't have branches in my state.

We're following up with our bank to see if they can give us a similar deal but it's doubtful there wouldn't be points or other costs associated as with this offer. We actually talked to our bank about 6 months or so ago (maybe longer) and we didn't qualify. Another thing is that I know NOTHING about refinancing. This is our first house - we've been here with our FHA going on 3 years in the spring, paying half our monthly payment every 2 weeks saving us about 15 years off our original 30 (the plan is to stay here).

My question is am I being overly concerned with how this fell into our lap? We don't have the worse credit but have been working on it. My fear is that in some file print if a payment (which we have never missed before) is missed by hours they come and take our house away.

I am being crazy (the Mrs is OK so far with this), or is there someway/something that can be done to ease my palpitations so that we could move forward with this bank? Anyone else refinance with a similar kind of bank/lender and live to tell about it?
posted by doorsfan to Work & Money (10 answers total)
No. No. No.

You tell a kid: If you get lost, you go to the first woman you see and ask for help. That lets you make a random selection, and most people are good, so you'll probably be ok. If you wait for help, that's not a random selection. It'll either be an unusually nice person or a creep waiting to take advantage of you. Better to look for an average person than risk the creep.

This is doubly true for financial institutions.
posted by paanta at 12:04 PM on December 1, 2009 [4 favorites]

Why do you want to refinance in the first place, if you're ahead on this mortgage already? Refinancing is a great way to shoot yourself in the foot and lose the equity you have in your home.

Another thing is that I know NOTHING about refinancing.

Tear up this "offer" and throw it out. If you think you're getting screwed on your current mortgage, you need to talk to a financial planner. If you can't identify a problem with your current mortgage, its very doubtful you'll be able to improve on it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:05 PM on December 1, 2009

DO NOT respond to this offer. It does not sound legitimate.

Getting valid loan offers is easy. Go to and click on "mortgage". From there you can fill out some basic information about your credit score, income, property, etc. and Zillow will turn it into an anonymous mortgage rate request.

Because it's essentially an anonymous form, you won't be risking your social security number, or a credit check, or anything like that, and it won't fill your inbox with spam.

Within 24 hours, your Zillow mortgage request page will be full of large numbers of competing offers on your refinance. They will be from legitimate banks (large and small) and it will at least give you a good idea of what the realistic numbers are for your situation.
posted by dacoit at 12:12 PM on December 1, 2009

Response by poster: Exactly the kind of input I was looking for! Keep them coming if you got'em.
posted by doorsfan at 12:13 PM on December 1, 2009

Response by poster: If you can't identify a problem with your current mortgage, its very doubtful you'll be able to improve on it.

I should have mentioned that the primary reason for refinancing would be to save $ and use that savings to pay down bills.
posted by doorsfan at 12:30 PM on December 1, 2009

Treat this offer with the same contempt you would an email offering you cheap viagra. Even if you needed it, would you buy it in that instance? The only difference is the method of delivery.
posted by Solomon at 12:35 PM on December 1, 2009

Do you feel comfortable telling us your current rate and type of mortgage (e.g., fixed rate, variable, etc.), amount owed, value of home, etc.?
posted by tippiedog at 12:55 PM on December 1, 2009

If I receive business mail from anyone I do not already have business with, I throw it away. Like Solomon said, it's the same as spam. If you don't solicit it, don't let them solicit you.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2009 $ and use that savings to pay down bills
If you really need to 'pay down bills', then stop doubling up on your mortgage every month and pay them down! It's doubtful you're paying lower interest on these bills (I assume credit card) than your mortgage.
Also, interest for you mortgage is tax-deductible, and that advantage lessens over the life of the loan (you pay less and less interest, and more and more on principal as the loan ages); so take advantage of where you are in the loan, and pay off those other bills!
posted by dbmcd at 1:14 PM on December 1, 2009

Response by poster: Ripped up, canceled and never thinking about again. Thanks All!
posted by doorsfan at 1:16 PM on December 1, 2009

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