Home mortgage refinance saves Doug and Barb $767 in monthly payments

Doug and Barbara Fredette hugged their home loan officer right there in the Oregon State Credit Union offices.

Worried faces and anxious hearts gave way to smiles as the Fredettes’ home mortgage refinance was approved. The Oregon State Credit Union refinance would enable Doug and Barb to restore their finances following two difficult bouts with ill health, which, over a period of years, had drained their financial resources and jeopardized their homeownership. With the refinance they could pay down bills, reduce monthly expenditures, enjoy an affordable monthly payment and not worry about being able to stay in their home — the home they’d owned and loved for 36 years.

10 years earlier: home equity line of credit helps pay bills

Years before they refinanced their home, Doug was struck with a life-threatening respiratory problem and couldn’t work for weeks. Barb had her hands full helping Doug and tending to home and other family matters. Meanwhile, insurance complications were a nightmare. But the Fredettes, who had joined Oregon State Credit Union in 1997 when it became a community credit union, were able to use the equity in their home to get a home equity line of credit. With that in place, and as Doug went back to work following recuperation, the Fredettes focused on managing expenses and paying bills. Their situation settled and improved. Then the economy took a downturn and, with it, their excavating business slowed. Again the Fredettes adapted, shifting their business to serve three needs: tractor servicing, field and pasture mowing and garden tilling. They continued to budget wisely, lived within their means and got creative, for a time selling Doug’s photography at art shows in Arizona where they like to travel in their RV.

The Oregon State Credit Union difference

With the respiratory problem behind them, an injury to Doug’s shoulder brought a second round of medical expenses and put an additional hit on the household budget. Over the years, the HELOC had done its work. But it had matured to a stage in which the loan shifts from interest-only payments to repayment. During the repayment phase, interest plus principal are due each month.

As a service, Oregon State Credit Union notifies members about the shift to repayment status. The notification isn’t common among banks, but for credit union members it’s another example of the Oregon State Credit Union difference in action. Their loan officer offered to meet with Doug and Barb to explore options to help them reduce their monthly payment and alleviate their concern about being able to stay in their home.

Fixed-rate mortgage refinance improves financial outlook

For Doug and Barb it made sense to refinance with a fixed-rate mortgage. They were pre-approved for the loan, their home was appraised, some repairs were completed and a week later they signed closing papers

Like other Oregon State Credit Union members, the Fredettes experienced a timely solution: They paid off a home equity line of credit and their RV debt, and lowered monthly debt from $2,437 to $1,670, a savings of $767 each month.

Today, Doug and Barb are back on track

The Fredettes, whose finances are back in shape, are staying busy working for clients around the Willamette Valley and taking care of their 20-pound cat, Sammy Sasquatch. Barb says, “We love our North Albany branch. But we also set up online automatic withdrawal of our house payment from our savings account. We like that convenience.” Doug adds, “We’ve been very happy. Oregon State Credit Union has bent over backwards to help us.”

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