Member Story: Loses Debt, Gains a Deck

Just a few months ago, Kimberly's life was a lot less simple. She was juggling mortgage payments with a high interest rate, plus additional mortgage insurance, all while paying down a personal line of credit. And with all that going on, she wondered if it was even realistic to consider starting the home renovation project she’d been planning.

Kimberly T., Electronic Technician, R & D Boeing

Kimberly, a Boeing Electronic Technician, lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their dog, Bella, whom Kimberly describes as “an expert neighborhood squirrel huntress.” She's a longtime BECU Member and does most of her banking at the Tukwila Financial Center, and at the Safeway in White Center. 

She recently decided to refinance her mortgage in order to streamline her finances. It was her first re-fi. She wasn't sure what to expect, but Jonathan at the Tukwila Financial Center made it easy.

Documentation Requirements Given Upfront, Easy Electronic Signing

Kimberly had owned her home for 3 years, and felt it was a good time to refinance. “I knew I wanted to get a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a lower rate, and remove the mortgage insurance from my loan,” she says. “I was also hoping to pay off a personal line of credit, if possible.” She wanted to add some much-needed outdoor living space to her small house, as well, by securing funds to build a new deck.

Kimberly wanted to stay with BECU because of her long relationship there, and for the convenience of automatic withdrawal for her mortgage payment. Because she had never refinanced before, she was hoping that the process would be smooth.

When she arrived for her home refinance appointment, she was relieved to find that they didn't ask for too much documentation. “They gave me a list of everything upfront,” she says. “[So] there was no back-and-forth required after the meeting to get additional paperwork. It was all so easy.” She also liked the fact that BECU's electronic signature process for closing was really fast.

Kimberly says she likes using credit unions, and has never done her banking with a big bank. “I think I prefer the idea of a credit union because they are owned by their members, and that makes them much more customer service-focused than banks.” 

Reducing Debt

When asked what the best thing about her refinance was, Kimberly doesn't even have to think twice. “The refinance enabled me to pay off my personal line of credit, plus lower my interest rate and remove the mortgage insurance from my payment,” she says with a big smile.

As planned, she also remodeled her deck. Because her house has a small footprint, adding outdoor living space was important to Kimberly. The new space came in especially handy over the summer when her son got married, and Kimberly hosted a number of parties for family and friends. “We love the new deck so much. It's really given us a lot more usable living space—we're planning to add a cover next year, so that we can use it even after summer's gone!”

When asked her thoughts about home refinancing, Kimberly says she would definitely recommend it to others, as long as they are at the right point in their mortgage. “I think that doing a refinance earlier in the life of a loan is best,” she advises. “It allows you to make changes to your loan that will benefit you in the long term, without feeling like you're going back to square one with your mortgage.”

The Bottom Line

  • Eliminated private mortgage insurance 
  • Lowered interest rate
  • Paid off personal line of credit (LOC)
  • Increased home value with deck remodel

Contact BECU to discuss your potential refinance options.