I would imagine that we wouldn’t qualify

I would imagine that we wouldn’t qualify because our debt to income ratio is high. What kind of loan are you thinking? I think we could get a loan through our credit union for about $15,000. I guess that would combine one car loan with our credit cards. That might work depending on the payment amount. Hmmm.

Yes, I can be that disciplined. Do you mean get a 10 or 15 year mortgage on our house? or get an additional mortgage to help pay off the debt?

Well, I don’t “need” to do these improvements, however I do have an uncle living in my unfinished basement.

I don’t see how it could cost me more than I can afford, if I’m already making those payments. I do understand it could be costly if for some reason we weren’t able to make the payments and the loan was tied to our house. We aren’t struggling to make the payments, I’m just sick of the debt and the interest we’re paying. We have considered just paying off the credit cards one at a time by paying extra on one account, then paying off the next, etc, etc. And then looking into getting a loan to finish the basement later on.

I just figured it would be beneficial to do it now since:

  1. We are already making pyaments of $xxx
  2. That money could go towards debt and the basement, which would make our house worth more
  3. We have someone living down there and it would be nice to at least finish the 1 bedroom and bathroom

It just made sense to me that if we’re already paying that amount and yet having nothing to show for it but debt, why not put that money into the basement? That would not only give us something to show for the money, but also we would gain that money back in the house.

All improvements to a house make it more valuable. But from a real estate sales perspective, there are certain types of home improvements that you can recover when selling a house and others that you don’t. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are the easiest costs to recover. Adding a new bedroom may or may not be recoverable. I don’t remember if it ranks high up in investments that you can recover.

By recoverable I mean that a future buyer may be willing to pay a premium for your house for certain things, but balk at other types of improvements. From personal experience, I inherited a house in which my parents enclosed a patio to and added a bathroom. When I sold it I was not able to recover the costs of improvements. My father shrug his shoulders and said the improvements were to get more enjoyment from the house. It sounds to me like you want to have your uncle enjoy the portion of the house in which he lives.

yes….and in 75-80% of the cases that’s what happens. It’s different in most peoples minds….The “bill” is only $185, so if I don’t pay the extra this month, it’s ok….then the next month, then the next month. But right now, your bills say – I owe $345 / month, and you know that’s what’s due.

Paying the old dogs off will help improve your credit report

Paying the old dogs off will help improve your credit report. Nothing will show as currently behind/late/delinquent. Even if it currently is late, bringing it up to PAID is improvement. The history will not change, but to the loan issuers, it will show that ALL of your available funds are their for paying the mortgage. And you will likely be approved for installment loan online. I know, it sounds strange, but it is important that you have everything “sparkling clean” on your credit report. Everything up to date, an explanation for all of the bad marks, etc.

We had to verify that a $32 medical bill had been paid by our insurance company in the last couple of days before our mortgage went through. It was stupid!!!! However, the insurance company faxed over a copy of the payment being made and it was removed from our credit report. Problem solved.

Sounds like pretty good advise to me! It is amazing how much impact little changes can make to a credit score.

Without know all of the details, it would seem that by paying off the derogatory accounts, and keeping everything else current, you might see a lift in your score.

If you and your husband are serious about financing a home, your first steps should be 1) Clean up and clear up your credit history, 2) Figure out how much of a monthly payment that you feel you can afford- comfortably, and 3) Get your down payment and closing costs resources together. Must legitimate and reasonable credit offers will come from lenders looking for between 3% and 5% of the purchase price as a down payment.

Just pay extra on the credit cards

At this point and time, my husband and I have decided to just pay extra on the credit cards and maybe do an equity loan further down the road. That way we could use all the money for the basement and not have 1/2 go to credit card debt. We also will set up a savings pland and get a few things along the way. Maybe we’ll start finishing the basement one project/room at a time.

That’s not true that no one ever pays back the principle. I know that “could” happen, but that doesn’t mean it would in every situation. What do you mean “they are not building anything”? This of course is just my opinion, so TIFWIW. I think an interest only loan can provide you some valuable financial relief. The important thing to reflect upon is what you would do with that relief.

You said you intend to make extra payments towards the principle. If you have the discipline to stick to this, the lower interest of an IO is a benefit you might want to take advantage of… If that relief makes you feel like going shopping then that interest only loan is only putting off till tomorrow a debt you’re better off taking care of today.

If you do go with the interest only loan a good budget is going to be important. I do agree that it could certainly be a disaster! I definitely would never get an interest only mortgage.

Why not refinance everything into one loan?

interest only loan doesn’t build on principal, only pays the bank their interest. It’s a rip off situation… There are calculators to see if you should refinance. Try bankrate.com or do a search for something like: refinance calculator.

On second mortgages etc… Because it wouldn’t just be you ‘planned’ to, but your very house would be in danger of loss in you didn’t. That is a big risk, and you had better be 100% certain you are that disciplined. If you have had trouble before, you probably aren’t.

Interest only, what is the benefit exactly? Again, have you been that disciplined before? If not, you’re kidding yourself that you would now. Just like I’m going to buy this pair of pants even though they are too small right now because I really will lose 10 lbs within 2 month… sure, right… lol Has your (and your spouses) history proven you are that disciplined and be extremely honest with yourself? If you’re that confident, why not just get a 10 or 15 year mortgage with required higher payments?

Somethings to consider are:

Do you really need to do these improvements? If the bank is essentially saying you can’t afford them, maybe you should wait? Is this a want that will cost you more than you can afford, or a need you will just have to live with? Also, without spending more, maybe then you could qualify for a different loan or could in 6 months etc…?

Strongly telling myself, I need to have this conversation with myself much more often. : )

Mortgage (home equity loans)

Hi I’m new here.

My husband and I are looking into a home equity loan to pay off our credit card debt/ lower payments/ lower interest rates. We also want to finish our basement with the money or at least finish a few major rooms. (bathroom and bedroom to start). We figured this would be worthwhile to do since as of now, we’re paying $345 in credit card debt/month along with a $108 car loan payment, so totalling about $450/month. We’re being offered an interest only loan with a payment of approximately $185/month. We would pay at least the $345/month on that to pay down the principle. Is this a good idea since we’d be basically be adding equity back into our home for the same price we’re “wasting” on credit card debt? We’re also looking into refinancing our mortgage, but aren’t sure if we should or not. We’re trying to save on interst as well as monthly payments.

Don’t do it! You are taking credit card debt which is unsecured debt and now taking out a home equity loan which makes it a secured debt. Once you do that if you should default in anyway you can loose your home. With unsecured debt if you should default you wouldn’t. For more info on that check out Mary Hunts website Cheapskate Monthly – she talks a lot about that and highly warns against it.

Also watch this video:

Interest only loans are not stupid. They are a financial tool, like any other, that can be used inappropriately. Whether an IO loan is good for you or not would depend on doing a financial analysis and understanding the details of your situation and what you are trying to accomplish.

Sorry, you can’t change my mind on this. Basically you never pay back the principal, and they are not building anything. They are another way that banks have convinced us that debt is good, savings is bad.

If you are concerned about being in debt or have any difficulty handling debt, however, I’d say there is a very good chance interest only loans aren’t for you. I understand what you’re saying, but isn’t that the same as saying that someone wouldn’t pay extra on their credit cards even though they planned to? We’re not going to do it, I just don’t see why it couldn’t work if we planned and budgeted.

I was going to do the loan to help cut the interest rates AND do the basement as well.

I don’t have “savings” to put down on the principal. I’m already making payments of $345 on credit card debt. I was going to keep making that payment amount or similar if we got the equity loan. I wouldn’t be able to afford to keep payiing the $345 on credit cards AND pay for a home equity loan. We were told we might not be able to quailify for a fixed 2nd mortgage because our debt to income ratio is high. The interest only loan option was what was available to us.

Debt Payoff – credit cards, student loans, and car loan

As I’ve stated before, my husband and I are working dilligently to pay down our debt. The question I have is, with some of our credit cards having lower interest rates than our student loan interest rates, does it make sense to pay down the student loans before the credit cards? I would assume a student loan would show up on a credit report as unsecured, however, it wouldn’t be revolving like a credit card would. Any thoughts?

I’ve always been told the best thing to do is pay off your highest interest rate debts more aggressively than the lower interest rate debts. Do banks look at unsecured credit card debt differently than student loans? Does someone have any experience with this? I rolled my college loans and car payment into a second mortgage to deduct the interest payments on my taxes.

My car loan is at 3.9% so I’m not too worried about that. It’s more or less the student loans that range from 7-9% that are bothering me, when we have a couple of credit cards with 1-3% rates. We don’t have a mortgage so rolling them over is not an option. The student loans are currently in grace, but I know they won’t always be, and even in grace the interest accrues.

If you have a credit card that low, can you transfer the loan to it? You would have to take into account, how fast you would really pay it off, and fees for transfering, would they still be less than 7% etc…? There are calculators to figure out how much this type of thing would cost. Do a search for ‘ debt calculator ‘ perhaps? Make sure it is worth it with any fees etc… Also I’m not sure about taxes… if student loans are considered in taxes, and if you even utilize that if so.

I know you rightly don’t want to get out of it, but if something happened where you absolutely couldn’t pay, credit card debt is better to not pay. The student loan HAS to get paid and will be collected upon if not.

I would list all of the debts, their balances, interest rates, etc. and work on paying them smallest to largest.
Pay everything at least the minimum each month, so nothing falls late (fees, charges, etc.)

Then, after you pay off the first debt, use that debts payment to pay additional on the next one down the line and so on.

If you come into extra money, throw it at the debt too, in the same order. So, this month, you may pay just $50 on a debt. Next month, you may sell something, having an extra $40 available to pay on a debt. You might get a refund for returning something to a store, $45 there. Get another $200 in overtime. Put it all on Debt #1. It will be paid off sooner. If that means you send in a payment to it five times in one month, do it. Just get the thing paid off.

BTW – Do not let your student loans fall behind. They are federal debts and will never go away, even if you file bankruptcy. Unless you went through private companies for your student loans. Have you consolidated your student loans yet?

You can still get fees by paying the minimum.


If your interest rate has jumped to the loan shark range and you have had a few late fee charges in the past it can make your balance skyrocket. You will continue to be charged an “over the limit fee” until the balance is no longer over the limit. It doesn’t matter if you that you haven’t actually purchased anything. The over the limit fee will be there every month from other charges even if you have not made any purchases.

My student loan is 100 dollars under the minimum to consolidate and my husband has his undergrad loans consilidated and we’ll consolidate his graduate loans before he graduates. i’m good about making sure i don’t miss payments though and figure things will look a lot better in 6 months.

I’d tell myself to breathe and relax a little

First, I’d tell myself to breathe and relax a little before taking on the decision process. I’m a Catholic Christian, so I’d also suggest praying to God for calm and then for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Now for some thoughts you may consider.

I’m concerned about this Ford dealer. Did you purchase the van from that dealer as new or used? This forgiving the loan deal on condition that you purchase another vehicle from them sounds different from a trade-in deal. Do you know enough people working at the dealership that tends you toward trusting what they are telling you? Did you check on blue book value including mileage? Suggest being very cautious even though I realize that you need to make a decision and obtain a working vehicle that meets your requirements and that is also reliable. I also just realized that the dealership’s finance company holds the note on your loan so you’re somewhat at the dealer’s mercy. I guess that the Aerostar is not drivable since you need an alternator.

You may be able to purchase a remanufactured alternator on trade for your bad one for a fee less than what you’d pay for a new alternator. Keep in mind that the dealer may want to sell you new parts that may be of better quality than the after-market and rebuilt parts, but they’ll be more expensive when you may only want to get the Aerostar running for now while you complete an organized search for a replacement vehicle in advance of a very long trip of say 200+ miles round trip.

You certainly don’t want to tell the dealer how much cash you have on hand to spend because they might steer you toward a vehicle that the purchase of which may cause you to not get a good deal but spend all of your available cash.

I suggest thinking about negotiating a price for your replacement vehicle first, and then talk about the “trade-in” deal afterward.

Even though you may not be a vehicle expert, you are still a woman and a Mom. My point is that you should still trust your instincts somewhat. If a proposed deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. It’s that woman’s intuition thing. When my mother was alive, I’d swear that she could smell out a bad deal when she heard or saw one. She raised me almost exclusively by herself, and I can’t think of anyone who could’ve done a better job on extremely limited resources. Please don’t disallow your feelings and instincts. What does DH have to say? Certainly you’ve asked for his advice?

As for your requirements, something being able to survive the Autobahn, the Nissans or Toyotas listed may work for you in Germany or Japan depending on their condition and mileage. I don’t have a lot of Chevy experience, so I’m not much help in that regard. If relocating overseas is a likely event for you, perhaps you can research whether or not you can readily find repair mechanics in whatever country you end up moving that will be able to repair the make/model of vehicle you purchase. I would think that Nissan and Toyota repair would be easily found in Japan. I guess that your DH will not have much choice as to where his next Army hitch happens, but if you can predict when it will happen, you can arrange to visit elderly relatives in CA and KY before the move. It might be costly, but you may be able to rent a vehicle to travel to CA and KY. In that case, try to rent 2 different vehicle types in which you have interest so as to try each of them on long trips. Depending upon how long your DH will be stationed overseas, you might consider the tough road of you and the girls staying in the states until DH returns. That of course is a personal decision that you may factor in.

It seems to me that you may want to list, organize, and prioritize all of your choices, and then after you have set your priorities, you can start from the most important and most urgent to you and then work down to the least important and least urgent. Your short-term goal may be go just do what you can to keep the Aerostar running for now, and then take on the longer term question of what vehicle you purchase to best meet your requirements.

You may want to revisit your factors below because it is unlikely that you’ll be able to get everything you want.

So I have a lot of factors to look at:

– my family of 4 (2 girls 8-6 that do not want to be touching each other in the car)
– we have and will continue to take “road trips” to California and Kentucky starting from Texas each year (elderly family members to visit before its too late)
– descent gas mileage
– the possibility of relocating to Germany or Japan with DH’s Army career (something that can survive the Autobahn)

I need a reliable vehicle that can handle all of this.
Decent gas mileage with hauling capability including room for your 2 girls in the back seat without touching each other may not be easy to get. Perhaps DH can talk with an Army buddy who’s been in Germany or Japan to get the gouge on the best way to go for a vehicle choice there.

I’ll pray for God to provide you with the prudence, patience, and right judgment to do what you decide to do.

Gotta go. God bless, and hang in there. I’m serious when I suggest praying to God about it. I don’t know your religion of choice, but God is always there for you. You just need to ask Him for help.

I’ll think about this topic further, and advise if I think of anything else that I believe would be of value to share.

My 2002 Ford Windstar is allowing me to bring the van back

The thing is the dealership I purchased my 2002 Ford Windstar is allowing me to bring the van back (working or not – since the alternator currently needs to be replaced) and forgive the whole loan as long as I purchase from them again. They think I will be finanacing, but in reality I will be purchasing “cash on hand”. My currently loan on the Ford is around $3000 so this is a great deal on that. The only thing is they have a limited choice. They have also have:

  • 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier
  • 2004 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2003 PT Cruiser
  • 2002 Nissan Maxima
  • 2000 Toyota Camry Solara
  • 2002 Nissan Xterra… I’m partial to Nissans because my 1st and last “new” car was a 1995 Nissan Maxima and it served me well until 2001 when my ex-husband bought it from me when I was relocating.

I’m also looking at:

  • 2003 Mitsubishi Montero sport
  • 2000 Chevy Tahoe
  • 2003 Chevy Trailblazer

My only experiences with Chevy’s are my parents 1988 Chevy Conversion van that survived over 200,000+ miles with nothing more than an alternator, and ex-husbands 1994 Chevy Blazer whose transmission dropped 4 years later.

So I have a lot of factors to look at:

– my family of 4 (2 girls 8-6 that do not want to be touching each other in the car)
– we have and will continue to take “road trips” to California and Kentucky starting from Texas each year (elderly family members to visit before its too late)
– descent gas mileage
– the possiblity of relocating to Germany or Japan with DH’s Army career (something that can survive the Autobaun)

I need a reliable vehicle that can handle all of this. So any new comments or information on this?

fordBEING german, i would suggest anything that has good gasmilage and weather you can find PARTS in germany or japan… which would be nissan, toyota or mitsubishi….

the japanese, as tight as they are with imports, would probably make it hard for you to get chevy parts, unless the military has an auto zone.

another thing to remember: should you move to germany, you would be hard pressed to afford gas for ANYTHINg, as their gas goes by the QUART!!!!! a gallon equivalent goes for something like over 6 EUROS!!!!! and the exchange rate makes it even higher. i think, just a few days ago, it took 1.48 US $$ to make 1 euro. anything that would requiere excessive gas would kill you over there. i think the military does have their own gas stations, but i am not familiar with their prices. parts and gasprices ought to be added to your calculations.

I just wanted to add that we have 3 Fords and they’re still running great. I have to admit I have an uncle who works for a Ford dealership, so we take our cars to him for maintenance, etc. But anyway, We have a 1997 Aerostar and it’s got about 160,000 + miles on it. We bought it used with 80,000 on it. That car will probably outlive us. It’s GREAT on mileage. My husband is in the Navy and that van has been back and forth between Utah and California MANY times over. Short, or long distance we LOVE that van!
I also have a 1995 Explorer that gets pretty good mileage as well. I think we’re up to about 172000 on that one. (I bought it from my dad 2 years ago.. he was the original owner) Still running great.

Then my dh has a 2001 Explorer Sport Track. We bought it used and it had a few problems at first. (I blame that on the slimy sales guy we bought it from) But since we’ve had it “fixed” it’s been great. The mileage isn’t as great as the other 2, but certainly not “bad” for an SUV/Truck.

Again, all of these vehicles have been between Utah and California without any problems.

Any 2004 Chevrolet Venture drivers? Advice please

I’m getting ready to invest in one and would like any good, bad and ugly experiences before I make this investment.

I don’t know about the 2004 (do a search using words like 2004 venture problems etc… add in chevy or chevrolet also and see what comes up.

We do have a problem with our 2000 with the check engine light and it ‘chugs’ sometimes, but hasn’t actually broke down. I read online (searching to see if others had the same problem and they did) it has some sort of seal problem in the coolant area I think? My hubby has checked and said his computer thingy (yes, he has a computer reader thingy but doesn’t actually fix it) said it was a gasket maybe? Is that the same as a seal? LOL I’m SOOOOOOO auto literate.

It’s annoying sometimes so far but hasn’t ‘done’ anything to it. It’s done this for months. Also horrible for cups. too shallow and not enough where you need them with 6 of us! lol We bought a between the seat cup holder/catch all type thing though.

Not sure if that helps, but hopefully somewhat. Well I am unloading a 2002 “F”ix “O”r “R”epair “D”aily Windstar that I paid $9000+ for used and had to put in a $4000+ engine, $200+ alternator, $250+ brakes, $300 AC, and a looming “transmission” problem. I just wanted some input so I don’t walk into another lemon.

get a TOYOTA !!!

I had several. hubby’s was a tercel. bought with about 50.000 miles on it. he/ we drove it until it had 350.000 miles on it. it would have lasted longer had hubby given it a tuneup [ i think ] AND if he did not have the new car inkling. i had a toyyota corolla. it croaked when it had about 320 000miles on it. just did not have the $$$ to fix what was wrong with it, it still ran like a charm [ enginewiese ] just something broke.

anyhow. got hubby another toyota. we are expecting to get at least 300.000 miles out of it. we bought it new. thing is … change oil every 3000 miles !!! with the same brand of oil.

IF I HAD money or qualified for a decent loan, i would go and buy a toyota hybrid. thjey get something like 60 miles to the gallon.

I have a 2005 Toyota Highlander SUV that I bought new, and so far so good. Even if you get a used Toyota, the reliability will likely beat most any other type of vehicle manufacturer with the possible exception of Honda. Resale value of most Toyota made vehicles is good. Toyota didn’t have a hybrid Highlander available in 2005, but I believe that they do in 2006 and above.

Only thing I’m afraid of with hybrid vehicles is that the battery life for the electric versions is unproven, and since I sometimes drive to places where Toyota dealerships are not readily available, I didn’t want to take a chance yet on a hybrid. However, with the price of gas moving back up to $3 per gallon and higher I may want revisit the hybrid design. I know that some hybrids are hydrogen as opposed to electric battery, so some research on your part concerning not only purchase cost/maintenance but reparability may be worth your time. Sorry that I rambled on and forgot your primary question.