For saving, not splurging potential income

Tess Vigeland: Last week, President Obama announced another plan to help underwater home owners. People whose homes are worth less today than what they paid for them would find it easier to refinance... IF -- and that's a big if -- the plan passes Congress. The administration's hope, of course, is that by refinancing, people will take some of the money they're saving on the monthly bill and spend it.

We asked some listeners who would benefit from that plan what they'd do with the money.

Mary Kay Starzynski : My name is Mary Kay Starzynski and I live in Chicago, Ill. Assuming there is any money in the refinance, I would just put it towards further payment of the mortgage.

Pierre MaCoy : My name is Pierre MaCoy and I live in Harrisburg, Penn. The money I would save by refinancing with these low rates, I would probably use to get myself some new clothes, maybe go out to dinner. Just spend it on things that I can't spend on right now.

Tonia Chase : My name is Tonia Chase from Windham, N.H. With the money I would get back from refinancing, I would put it into my daughter's college education to pay for future semesters.

Richard Valdez: My name is Richard Valdez. I'm a resident of the San Fernando Valley, Calif. I live in North Hollywood. Personally, if I refinanced, I would be focusing on establishing an emergency fund.

Angela Bowman: I'm Angela Bowman and I live in Chicago. What I'd like to do is take about half of that money every month and put it in a savings account. And then I'd like to take the other half and use it to pay down my secondary mortgage, which is a home equity line of credit.

Teri Sebastian: My name's Teri Sebastian. I'm from Marietta, Ga. I'd spend refinance money on just getting caught up on my bills. It sometimes feels like the utilities that we're paying are just what is the least amount to avoid them getting cut off. And I'd really love to get current on everything.

I guess we have one person there on the "spend to save the economy" team there. Boy but otherwise, what a collection of financially savvy citizens! Bravo! We are particularly impressed by Angela Bowman, wanting to both save and pay down a home equity line of credit. So our little blue plastic friend is jetting off to the Windy City. Angela, all we ask is that you keep him warm and stuffed.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.
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Tess, I enjoyed your piece on what people would do if they are able to save money via a home refinance! I am a professional mortgage consultant with 10 years under my belt. I can speak from the receiving end of the current “refi boom” the majority of my clients that are eligible to refi on the current low market rates are NOT looking to pump the savings back into the economy. For example I had a closing yesterday where one spouse had just been downsized. Their only priority with moving forward on a refi was to streamline their household expenses so they were not going backwards each month until the employment is replaced.

Another perfect example: husband/ wife who both work for a large global company. Due to their homes value decreasing they are willing to bring nearly 20k to the closing table to combine the 80/20 mortgage they used 6 years ago to purchase the home. This refi is allowing them to combine the outstanding liens (2nd mortgage is a balloon note) and at the end of the day they will owe equal to what the home is currently worth with a net savings of $500 a month. Their plan is to then pay themselves the $500 a month in the form of 401k contributions and their 4 year old daughters 529 account for college funding.

These are just two stories of nearly 40+cases our firm is currently working on; and frankly no one is looking for a handout. They are willing to take on & make good on these commitments! I very much appreciate the responsible decisions my clients are making with these savings.

Sean S. Goble
Sr. Mortgage Consultant

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