What Do You Need to Know to Refinance Your Mortgage? Featuring Maria L., Affinity Member At Affinity Federal Credit Union, we take pride not just in our financial products and services, but also the abilities of our talented, compassionate employees to guide members through complex and sometimes overwhelming financial journeys. This is an essential piece of the overall makeup of Affinity; we exist for the benefit of our members, not for ourselves. We emphasize our members’ financial wellness and ongoing education as a key part of their credit union membership – and in the process we make things as convenient and pain-free as possible. In this blog post we will be focusing on how Barry Gerst, Mortgage Loan Officer at Affinity, helped Maria L. refinance her home at a time when she was going through a difficult personal situation. Maria agreed to speak with Affinity’s team about how Barry and Affinity eased her mind and left a lasting impression that affirms our commitment to our Community Connected. As well as being a story of Barry’s support and encouragement, Maria’s experience also provides a guide on how to refinance your mortgage and what you should be keeping in mind. What made you decide to refinance your mortgage? Maria: “In 2017, I was divorced, and as part of the divorce decree, I was given three years to refinance my mortgage. On top of that, the situation in general made me become overextended on my credit card bills. So I looked to refinance for the mortgage to be in my name only and take cash out to repay the bills. That way, everything would be lumped into one bill. It worked out as being about the same amount as my previous mortgage, which was doable. I was just paying my mortgage and not that extra $400 to $500 per month toward my credit card bills.” What questions did you have at the beginning of (and throughout) the process? Maria: “This was the second time I had refinanced my mortgage, so I had been through the process before. But this was different because it was in my name only. My concerns and questions were more along the lines of ’Can I afford to do this on my own?’ or ‘Can I really do this on my own?’ That’s where Barry came in. Throughout the process, if something didn’t add up with my financial information, I would get an email right away from Barry saying ‘Hey, we need this.’ During the refinancing I got a raise, so my income changed, and my numbers didn’t match what I had started with and I needed a letter from work. Barry was great at managing all these issues and making sure I got him the information he needed.” How and why did you choose Affinity to handle your refinancing? Maria: “I had taken out my first refinance mortgage with Affinity, so since I already knew the process, I figured I would stay with them.” Tell us more about your experience with Affinity. Where was Barry most helpful? Maria: “Barry kept me grounded. It was a difficult life change and I was managing a lot of emotions. I probably didn’t sound like the calmest person in the world at that time. Regardless of my questions or angst, Barry always made sure he listened and gave me the right direction. It was really hard and scary for me, and he just made me feel better by being reassuring and saying ‘It’s going to work out. Don’t worry.’ Along with Barry, there was another young woman with Affinity who helped me. I needed a copy of a check and even though she couldn’t obtain it herself, she made sure to ask her manager and updated me right away. Between this kind woman and Barry, they just truly validated me and let me know that even though it was hard, they were going to help me get through it.” What advice would you give other homeowners considering refinancing? Maria: “Make sure you have any legal documentation or paperwork in hand. If you have money in different checking accounts, have that information, because they’re going to ask you for it. Be flexible. Sometimes you have to take time out of your work day to get this stuff done.” Considering refinancing your mortgage? Connect with one of Affinity’s Mortgage Loan Officers today: http://go.affinityfcu.com/mortgageform This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.