An Unexpected Connection
I’m feeling particularly happy these days, thanks to refinancing my house. Not because I’ll be saving money every month–although of course I’m pleased about that. For an unexpected but related outcome.
If you’ve ever refinanced your home, you know how frustrating and tedious the process can be. After the 2008 Recession, lenders began requiring at least twice the documentation they had in the past. And if you were retired and without a regular pay stub—as I am now—the number of documents lenders began demanding tripled. During my last refinance process I ended up sobbing on the telephone when the company I was working with asked me to resubmit all my financial documents. A month had passed, they explained, and the dozens and dozens of statements, etc. I had initially submitted were now out of date.
But right now mortgage rates are historically low–and saving $300.00 a month is a an irresistible pull for me—so, I opened a few of the advertisements I’d been receiving in the mail and began. . .
“I’m interested in refinancing,” I’d explain at the outset of each call, “but I’m now retired and all my money is invested, and aside from my social security, I don’t receive regular monthly payments from any of my accounts.”
“No problem,” the person on the other end always replied. “Give me your email address and I’ll send you a list of what we need to get the process started.”
Inevitably, the list included “pension” and “IRA” disbursements, neither of which applies to me. But each time I phoned the contact person back and left a message to that effect, asking them to call me back, what I received was radio silence.
After a few days of this, on the verge of giving up, I decided to try one last time.
“Hi, I want to refinance,” I began the conversation. “But I am retired, have no monthly income except my Social Security Benefit, which is small. I do not have a pension, or an IRA from which I withdraw regularly.”
After he listened to my spiel, Kevin introduced himself and told me he thought we could work this out. And to my surprise, we have. But that’s not why I have been feeling so happy about this refinance. My joy has nothing to do with money.
I’m feeling happy because when Kevin inquired about me what I did, and I told him I am a writer, he asked me what I wrote. And when I told him what I wrote, he asked about my latest book. And when I told him about “Small,” he said, “That’s the kind of book I need right now.”
As I wondered just what he meant, he told me that his wife was pregnant, and how difficult it was to be pregnant during Covid. “But here’s something I bet you can appreciate,” he announced. “Last night, I felt our baby move for the first time!”
“How wonderful!” I exclaimed, hearing the wonder and love in the voice of this young man I had just met over refinance plans for my house.
“I know it’s just a small thing,” he went on. “But somehow, it made everything worth it.”