No. of Recommendations: 1
As for the second, I would mention that I've never brought money to a refinance closing - only when closing on a purchase. I know that actually raises your debt and even increases your closing costs. But I always do both a break-even and cost-benefit analysis first to make sure I have a good chance of the move savings me money in a reasonably short time horizon.

But Joel, you've had years of experience in analyzing costs and break-evens and related expenses. aoeuid is just beginning to work on this. I'm not sure if creating more debt in order to lessen debt is his best move just now. Later on it will be, but there's a huge learning curve for him and the family. Learning how to save money (as in savings accounts) is a part of the learning experience.

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