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Browsing Refinance

Tara’s Refinance Story  by Tara


“Rates are at a historic low! Now is the time to refinance!”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve heard this at least a dozen times. When my husband and I became homeowners in 2008, we locked into a rate that our loan officer was ecstatic about because it was “so low!” As the years passed, the rates got lower and lower. Just like you, I kept hearing, “The rates are lower than we’ve ever seen! NOW is the time to refinance!”

The idea of refinancing kind of scared me. It sounded almost as fun as going to the dentist or listening to an album featuring nails on a chalkboard. My husband and I had avoided it like the plague until September of this year. Rumor was if your APR was 4.00% or higher, you absolutely needed to look into refinancing. People seemed to be saving a ridiculous amount of money – and, since our APR was higher than 4.00%, I thought it was worth a shot.

What’s really cool about our mortgage department is that they can tell you pretty quickly (either in person or over the phone) whether or not you’d save money by refinancing. My husband and I sat down with one of our helpful mortgage loan officers who ran through several scenarios (15 year, 30 year, various other combos). The loan officer seemed to be almost as excited as we were about the difference refinancing would ultimately make in the life of our loan.

Many people find that they can reduce the amount of money they would have to pay each month. We decided to keep our payments the same and, instead, shorten the life of our loan. Thanks to our refinance, we will have our house paid off 8 to 10 years faster than if we had ignored all the yammering about historically low rates. Yes, we did have to bring a little money to the table

Curious about the process? Let me give you the nutshell version:

We met with a loan officer and locked into a new, much lower rate at the end of September. My husband and I had to provide some paperwork, such as our most recent pay stubs, most recent mortgage statement, and our most recent bank statements. (DON’T WORRY! These things are super easy to get your hands on, thanks to online access to accounts! You just need to print stuff off instead of digging through the piles of paperwork you have stored away.)

Linn Area Credit Union selected an appraiser, who then contacted me for an appointment. This was the part I was most nervous about, but it was super easy. You don’t have to clean to closets out, TRUST ME! The appraiser is looking at the overall big picture, not the dust bunnies. Not that I have any of those… Anyway, he had performed the appraisal and returned all of the documents within 3 weeks of us locking into our rate!

Now here’s the part where you get to kick back and relax while Linn Area Credit Union takes care of the rest behind the scenes. What kinds of things are they doing? I’ll sum it up in one word: PAPERWORK. Bleck. So glad we didn’t have to deal with any of that jazz! Occasionally, they’ll need a little more info from you if requested by the underwriters (dun dun dunnnn). We had to resubmit our latest mortgage statement. *shrug* Whatever, no biggie. The next time I had to do anything for our refi was when I was asked what a good time of day would be for our closing. I’m serious! It was THAT easy. Heck, I spent more time signing documents at closing than I did on the rest of the process combined!

Our entire refi process took about 45 days, but they can take up to 60.

So if you’ve been dragging your feet thinking that refinancing was going to be too big of a pain in the tuckus, please at least call one of our loan officers at (319) 378-0101 ex.3 to see if you’re missing a HUGE opportunity! You can also check out rates, find out about our loan officers or apply online at

WE WANT TO KNOW: Have you refinanced? How much did you save??

Member Success Story: An easy $2000  by Nick


What would you do with an extra $2,000? For real-skies. 

I recently had a member come in to talk about getting a boat loan. As I began the going through the application process, I noticed that this member had a loan with another financial institution. They mentioned that it was a car loan. That is when my AH-HA! moment occurred! 

The member let me know that he had locked into a 5% APR rate, which was looking pretty good at the time he initially got the loan. However, our loan rates at Linn Area recently dropped, allowing us to be more competitive than ever. Because of this, I could not only lower his auto rate from 5% APR to 3.25%, but I that was able to shorten the term a little. 

For fun, I did the math to see exactly how much money this fancy financial finagling would save the member over the life of his loan. Any guesses out there?

Are you ready for this? 

It was a total of 2 grand. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

The member looked at me and exclaimed, “Did you just save me $2,000 dollars in less than 20 minutes?!?!”

 I was thrilled to nod my head saying, “Oh, yeah. That just happened.”

 I’ve never seen someone’s face light up as much as his did. I was ecstatic to make these members start off 2011 on the right foot.

 This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve been able to save a member lots of money by helping them refinance an auto loan. It certainly won’t be the last! I’m willing to bet that most of you who are reading this had no idea that you could actually refinance an auto loan. Not only can it save you big bucks, but it’s a very quick and painless process. I’d say the average auto refi takes me all of 30 minutes.

So if you have an existing loan at another bank or from a dealership and are curious about saving some money, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or check out our Linn Area website to see how much we can save you. To be honest, we love saving our members’ bling almost as much as they do!

What would YOU do with an extra $2,000? Tell us in the comments below.