No. of Recommendations: 2
aoeuid,

You wrote, Understood. Thank you. One less thing to think about/ponder. Back to the basics. SPEND LESS/MAKE MORE. But DEFINITELY spend less. Get the 'mystery' out of it . . . and find out where all the holes/leaks are.

Technically its your debt to income ratio - not just the debt that would cause problems. As long as you have an on-time payment history, your score should be good. If you could somehow increase your income as well, it would have the dual benefit of lowering this key statistic and improving your cash flow. This is one area where more income is a better solution than reducing your expenses. Reducing your expenses can take a long time to have an impact on your debt to income ratio, while an increase in your paycheck is pretty immediate.

Personally, I'd sign up with CreditKarma.com, no matter what vkg said about the likelihood of being able refi. I've been using CreditKarma.com for about 2 years and think they're great. I also just bought a house in October. CreditKarma also has a credit monitoring feature. In fact, they just sent me an email warning that a new address has been added to my credit file. :-)

Finally, I would call up and talk to a mortgage broker and ask their profession opinion about your situation. For the most part, we can only guess as to whether or not you can improve your rate. Given the high debt to income ratio, they may not having anything; but you never know. Just don't let them suck you into an ARM product just because it has a low rate TODAY and can improve your cash flow for the moment. Normally a refi should be about lowering your overall cost - not just a short-term improvement in cash flow.

BTW, don't get caught up too much on the issue of combining your primary and secondary mortgage. It might be nice; but don't reject any offer to save money yourself money without considering the alternatives.

- Joel
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