07/23/2020 at 3:51 pm #79902
So I finally decided to follow through with refinancing my home loan. I’m 8 years into a 30 year loan.
I’m dropping to a 15 year loan and my monthly payment is going up…$10. That is WITH all closing costs added onto the loan principal!
Easiest $65000 I’ve ever saved!
In the process, the lender recommended I switch to an independent insurance agent and requote my homeowners and auto insurances. I just got the quotes back and to say my existing insurer (nationwide) was screwing me would be an understatement!
My home and auto premiums are almost cut in half for better coverage.
So if you haven’t looked at doing these things, I highly recommend it. I put it off for years because I had enough to stress about. I wish I would have done this much sooner.
07/23/2020 at 4:08 pm #79903JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Good advice. We refinanced this year and saved money. We also got new insurance. Its about the same cost but we get better coverage.
Smart to check things since companies get too complacent with you as a customer.
07/23/2020 at 4:13 pm #79904
I had been with nationwide since day 1 as a teenager because they did me a solid. I got in an accident. My parents told me I was insured. Nope, they never insured me – just the car!!! I was an uninsured 17 year old driver.
I started my own policy at Nationwide with an agent that was the mother of one of my school friends. They never penalized me for that accident that I was at fault in.
A small thing to earn lifetime loyalty. That loyalty was rewarded with SEVERLY bloated rates. Lesson learned – don’t be “loyal” to any company. Switch early, switch often if you can. Make them earn you.
07/23/2020 at 6:27 pm #79907
As I have an unbeatable interest rate on the mortgage (2% on a 15-year fixed) I can’t switch, but I do shop my insurance policy annually. Oddly enough, some years it’s cheaper for me to separate home and auto insurances, paying two different companies, and other years it’s cheaper to combine them into one. I have no idea why. Last year I split and had two policies, this year I’m combining and have saved $650.
On average I will change insurers every two years for a better rate with same as or better coverage.
07/24/2020 at 7:33 am #79915
When did you get 2%? They are hovering around 2.5% right now and that’s incredibly low.
07/24/2020 at 8:26 am #79917
In 2015. Our closing agent said it was the lowest he’d seen in over 25 years, so I figured it was a good deal
07/24/2020 at 8:38 am #79918
The average on a 15 year in 2015 was 3%, so you getting 2% is quite crazy.
Currently the 15 year is at historic lows right around 2.5%.
My refinance is at 2.62%. My existing loan was 30 years at 4.25%, so it’s a huge jump for me.
07/23/2020 at 6:47 pm #79908ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
We have a refi in progress – unfortunately just missed the bottom, but still good. We really need to shop around for my teen son’s auto insurance. He’s hardly driving at all. We have USAA.
07/23/2020 at 7:10 pm #79911
I’ve heard that USAA is amazing for insurance. How have you found them so far?
07/25/2020 at 5:47 pm #79951ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
@Amatino yes, USAA has been great the couple of times my car was hit. They apparently pay well and you use their approved shops. Rates for the rest of us seem good, but my new teen driver is very high. Also they way overestimate the value of the contents in our home and it’s tied to the home value so I couldn’t cut it. After the fires, they dropped some locals but luckily we are in a different zip code.
07/23/2020 at 7:41 pm #79913Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
Don’t forget cable/satellite TV bills, and cell phone service. Often worth switching or threatening to switch to get a reduction, even if only for 1 year. Easy way to save $5oo per year or so with just a little time on the phone.
Any subscription fees should be reexamined too.
07/24/2020 at 7:26 am #79914
Here in WV, cable/internet companies have regional monopolies. You can’t switch providers since there is only one in most places. It really sucks.
07/24/2020 at 4:34 pm #79922SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Good advice. I shopped all my insurance coverage years ago and saved thousands of dollars annually in the process. ( I have a lot of insurance :- house, multiple cars, life, flood, earthquake, umbrella). It’s sad that these days there’s a loyalty penalty for staying with the same insurance company. The longer you stay with one company, the more likely you’ll be overpaying. I’m sure it’s time for me to re-shop my insurance.
I refinanced into a 15 yr 2.625% mortgage around 2014. I thought I’d got the absolute lowest rate so I’m surprised to hear about Amatino’s even-lower rate. That’s amazing!
07/25/2020 at 9:15 am #79941
At the time, I applied to my bank for a mortgage at the same time (shopping around, yeah?) and was told no bank would ever be able to match that.
The secret (secrets?) to a very low rate:
Use a Credit Union. They can price lower than any bank, according to my bank.
Have a deposit of 20% or greater
Buy down points.
That’s how we did it. Also, I’m a major negotiator. I don’t stop asking. Ask if you can get a better rate. When they give you one, ask if that’s the best they can do. Wheedle. Cajole. Then when they give you their “absolute best rate” ask them if you can buy down points. Of course, you have to have the cash for this.
We saved aggressively for about five years to do this. No meals out, no holidays, no cable TV. Beans and rice and no new clothes. But it was worth it.
07/25/2020 at 12:09 pm #79948Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
My husband was feeling froggy a couple of weeks ago and went on a mission to cut as many expenses as possible. He drastically reduced cable, internet, phone and canceled various subscription services. Once he got started he really got into it. It became a challenge for him to see what else he could cut. He’s always been the spender not the saver so I was pretty proud of him.
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