This Smart Decision is Helping This Family Save an Extra $3,600/Year

February 14, 2017
by Carson Kohler
Junior Writer
Mortgage refinancing

Kristin Worthington never thought she’d own a home — at least not by the age of 30.

But she’s doing it.

Less than two years ago, she lived in a two-bedroom, 900-square-foot apartment with her husband and toddler.

“It was like a closet,” she recalls.

The trio desperately needed an upgrade, but as Worthington and her family began looking for three-bedroom rentals in The Woodlands, Texas, costs skyrocketed.

With a price cap of $2,500 a month, their search felt futile.

That’s when they started to consider purchasing a home — and they did.

And a year after actually buying a home, the small family saved even more by refinancing their mortgage.

How Did Mortgage Refinancing Put More Money in This Family’s Pocket?

Mortgage refinancing
Photo courtesy Montse Garcia

Here’s how it works:

The family’s initial mortgage interest rate hovered around 4%. Refinancing allowed them to take out a new loan at a lower interest rate.

Refinancing dropped the couple’s interest rate from 4% to 3.75%, which Worthington says saves them between $200 and $300 each month.

Finding the Best Company to Refinance a Mortgage

Deciding to refinance wasn’t the hardest decision they had to make; it was finding a company that was a good fit for their financial situation.

First, Worthington tried a site that compares a host of lenders. She said she submitted her information around 11 p.m. The next morning she says she received about 20 phone calls from lenders.

Worthington gave up after the first two when she realized the representatives didn’t even know the answers to her basic questions.

She tried another site — supposedly a “new, up-and-coming, sexy product,” Worthington describes.

But it wasn’t.

She said the site asked for all her basic information — great. But then it required her to upload a lot of documents.

Some documents, she understood, but others seemed so far-fetched — like links to her investment and retirements accounts, accounts that weren’t so easy to access.

Finally, she completed the tasks and clicked “upload.”

Error.

She did it again and was told to call customer service. She received no response from the other side.

Exasperated, she returned to the company she took the initial mortgage out with: SoFi.

Worthington had heard about SoFi from a colleague who’d used it to refinance student loans and decided to use the company for their initial mortgage.

They had gone with a 30-year fixed mortgage, which offered a 10% down payment. Most companies start at 20% and require more money upfront. There also wasn’t a sneaky private mortgage insurance (PMI) charge, which can add a huge chunk to monthly costs.

So returning to SoFi to refinance was an easy decision.

The process remained upfront and simple. The initial process, she says, took no more than 10 minutes. Worthington uploaded documents, like her two most recent W-2s and a recent paystub, all of which she felt were relevant.

“Let me tell you, it’s way better than buying a car,” Worthington says, laughing.

A month later, the refinancing process was complete.

How a Mortgage and Refinancing Changed This Family’s Finances

Mortgage refinancing
Photo courtesy Montse Garcia

Because of their refinanced mortgage, this family saves an extra $300 each month.

Each month, the family drops the extra savings into a retirement fund and invests for the future.

Of course, the extra money is nice, but Worthington said there’s so many more upsides to owning a home.

“It’s knowing that when you go home, it’s yours,” she said. “It’s something you feel proud of. It’s that moment knowing I can raise my kid in the exact same house and knowing I’m not going to have to move in, say, two years.

“It’s having a level of stability.”

Your Turn: Have you saved money taking out a mortgage versus renting?

Sponsorship Disclosure: A huge thanks to SoFi for working with us to bring you this content. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome and get paid for it! Note: the interviewee is related to a SoFi employee.

Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS #1121636. Terms and Conditions apply see SoFi.com/legal for details. Mortgages are not available in all states. See the SoFi eligibility list. Http://www.sofi.com/eligibility-criteria/#eligibility-mortgage.

SoFi Lending Corp, 1 Letterman Drive, Building A, Suite 4700, San Francisco, Ca 94129

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.

by Carson Kohler
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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