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They may have lowereed their payments but many of them added several years to the life of the loan. IE: Suppose they had already paid 5 years on a 30 year mortage and then did a refi and took cash out into a new 30 year mortgage. They may be saving $100 per month but they just added 5 years to their payment plan.

Another big group (which includes me) took the opportunity to shorten the loan. I was 5 years into a 30 year loan, and did a refi to a 15 year loan. It increased my monthly payment about $60 on a roughly $2,000 monthly payment. It immediately quadrupled my payments on principal.

Impact on my spending power; slightly negative. Impact on my long term financial health; profound. Impact over the short to medium term WRT the macro economic environment; zero.
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