Since interest rates are significantly lower than the note currently held on our home (almost 3 percentage points), it made sense to investigate options for refinancing our mortgage. The prime goal is to reduce monthly payments and conserve a few dollars during these economically challenging times. This is all well and good but what amazes me most is the amount of paperwork required just to get the refinancing process started.
For those of you who’ve been through this process before, you’ll be able to identify with this list. Here is a partial accounting of all the stuff delivered to my mortgage officer today (for the second time in 30 days):
- Last four paycheck stubs for wage earners (myself and spouse)
- Last three monthly statements from any bank accounts (checking, saving, and interest bearing accounts)
- Current statements from all other assets (401k, 529 College savings, IRA, etc.)
- Real estate tax disclosures
- Home owner’s insurance policy information
- All exceptions to your financial situation (letters, payoffs, etc.)
My compiled list of these documents numbers just shy of 100 pages of information. And compared to other home owners, I suspect this amount of information is low. No wonder mortgage paperwork stacks are a mile high! And that’s just what is required to get started on the refinancing process!
I took an electronic approach to submitting this information today. Instead of carting printed pages of all the information to the loan office and having them copy each page while I waited, I simply compiled PDFs of the data and sent them a link to retrieve the files from one of my web site directories containing the files. This approach saves one half of the trees required to print the information once and make copies.
So I feel like I’ve been environmentally responsible in at least one aspect today. Tomorrow I’ll learn more about the refinancing options available at this time!
Wish me luck!