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Consolidating Credit Card Debt into Your Mortgage
Some financial "gurus" have advised against this because you are turning unsecured debt into secured debt. While this is basically true the fact is that defaulted unsecured debt can be secured against real property very quickly once the debtor is sued for it and a judgment is received.
Consolidating credit car debt into your mortgage can save a homeowner hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars per month by lowering their total monthly obligations. When you consolidate credit cards into your mortgage you also are able to lower your interest rates on those credit cards which essentially saves you a lot of money but you are able to write off the interest on your tax returns from your mortgage and you can not do this with your credit cards.
If you want to use a refinance loan to consolidate some of your debts, you're going to have to borrow more than the actual amount remaining on the loan that you're refinancing. This additional amount will be used to pay off those debts that are being consolidated and will affect the monthly payment of your refinanced loan. By doing this, however, you can make your finances and outstanding debts much more manageable and will likely become debt-free much faster.
You can consolidate your credit card debt through use of your first mortgage or by obtaining a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. A HELOC works with the same basic principals of a credit card. It is a revolving account that as you pay the equity line down, you have that money available to you to use again. With a second mortgage you simply have a set term (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc...) that you will pay on the loan for and when it is paid off you are relinquished of your obligation to this debt and the account closes. All three (1st mortgage, 2nd mortgage or HELOC) are excellent choices for debt consolidation but you and your mortgager broker will need to figure out which one makes the most sense for your particular situation.
If you have gotten buried in a hole with credit card debt it could be a necessity to refinance your home and pay off your credit card debt. It has been known to save thousands of dollars. On the other side of the spectrum, if you only have 5 months left on a credit card bill it is note wise decision to bury that into a mortgage.
In order to decide if a debt consolidation is your best action, you should figure what you are paying now and how that will translate in the length of time it will take you to pay off those credit cards. You may find that rolling those debts into your mortgage will save you thousands of dollars in interest payments.
Remember not to stop making regular payments towards credit card debts simply because you are in the process of consolidating them. Defaults and late payments can negatively impact your credit and jeopardize the consolidation loan.
If you are planning on selling your home in the near future, you may want to rethink consolidating. You need to make sure that you have enough equity to pay for realtor's commission and down payment or closing costs on the new home.
When deciding to refinance for debt consolidation you might want to consider how long you will have to pay your credit cards if you are only making the monthly minimums. This can take you much longer in most cases than paying on a traditional 30 year fixed mortgage.
Another option if you do not have enough equity in your home to pay off your credit cards is to refinance to a pay option ARM. The money you can save by making minimum payments on your mortgage can be applied to your credit cards to help pay them down quicker.
During most refinances you will be able to skip a month, or two, of your mortgage payment. It would be a good idea to take some, or all, of that payment and apply it to your credit card debt.
Remember, you have a three (business) day right of recission before you can receive the cash from your refinance.
If your decide to consolidate credit card debt in the state of Texas you must wait 12 days from the time of application to close on your cash out loan, also Texas Cash-Out loans are limited to an 80% LTV (Loan to Value). This law only applies to homestead properties and it may be different if the property is a second home or investment property.
If you refinance to pay off credit cards it is wise to have the limits on the credit cards lowered to avoid the same situation you are refinancing out of. Unless you have many cards open avoid closing the accounts. If they have been open for a long time closing them could negatively impact your credit.
If you are paying the minimum payment on your maxed out credit cards every month, it could take 15 to 22 years to pay off those cards.
You should remember that the interest you pay with your mortgage is tax deductible, where the credit card's interest payment is not. Consolidating your debt using your equity can save your money even more.
If you want to see even greater savings on a monthly basis for a fixed period of time, ask us about using a minimum payment option loan to consolidate your debts. This can provide you with enough cash to pay off your debts while actually reducing your housing payment AND all of your monthly payments.
Most financial gurus don't recommend using the equity in your home to pay off unsecured debt because if you do that, you won't need to buy their program. Think about it. They are in business to sell you software, subscriptions to their websites and books. The program they recommend deals with cutting back on spending and devoting yourself to getting out of debt in a long period of time. Sure it will work, but most people don't have the discipline to not have cable, or not go out to eat for 6 years. The one key to getting out of debt is to put yourself in a position where you don't have to use your credit cards. Once you stop spending on credit cards, the best way to pay them off is to consolidate them into the lowest monthly payment possible. From that point you need to take the savings and re-apply it towards your existing debt and your mortgage. If you do this, you could be debt free, including your mortgage, in a little as 5-7 years. I challange any financial guru to find a quicker way to be completely debt free.
Consolidating credit card debt into your mortgage can be prudent to lower your monthly payments. You gain the advantage of paying down mortgage debt that is tax deductible. However, if high credit card debt is an indication that you are spending beyond your means, you must address this issue to become financially sound.
Although you are extending your debt by refinancing credit card debt into your mortgage, you generally will be increaing your cash flow so you are not going "backwards" each month.
If you do choose to consolidate your credit card debt, remember to bring your most recent balance statements with you to the closing (your mortgage consultant will advise). This way when the lender's attorney is making out the checks to the creditors, the numbers will be exact.
» DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article on 'Consolidating Credit Card Debt into Your Mortgage' is a collection of contributions by licensed mortgage professionals and is not the opinion of Broker Outpost LLC. Always consult a licensed professional before applying for a mortgage.
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