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Re-fi recommendations?

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We are looking at refinancing our current house in order to take out some equity for a down payment on something else, and also get rid of our MIP. 

Does anyone have any good lender recommendations? So far it's been extremely frustrating - these loans are commodity products that are still being sold like they are brain surgery. It is worse than pulling teeth to get a straight answer - I can provide my particulars and exactly what I want to do, yet can never get an answer to "what will this cost?" 

None of them seem capable of using email, but that is by design, I assume. Everything has to be by phone, so there's no audit trail and a bunch of double-talk. I guess brain surgery is wrong analogy - more like Time Share.

Anyway, if you've found a solution to this mess, I'd love to hear it. (I thought Quicken was the answer, but instead I need to block their number after a simple web inquiry...)

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I just did a re-fi 6 months ago to remove MIP.  I used my local credit union because #1 - they keep the loan service for the life of the loan, and #2 - they have better rates and terms generally.  My credit union even has their rates and details of mortgages on their website, so I could see exactly what my rate and monthly payments would be before I even applied.  Not all credit unions do this on their website (like my secondary credit union), but a phone call or in-person visit can usually get those hard numbers prior to applying.

Also, everything was done online.  There was only 1 short phone call to set up an appraisal. That's it.

The only drawback to a credit union is that should things fall apart down the road, there is no arbitration clause :)

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When I tried to get a loan to settle with Midland (assuming we didn't beat them) I tried my bank. They wouldn't touch me due to foreclosure and recommended credit union. CU told me to go boil my head, as well, but it was interesting that banker highly recommended them.

My wife tried an online mortgage thing with Quicken, but they called my cel several times a day leaving messages, so I blocked their numbers.

Anyway, my wife talked to our bank and got some numbers over the phone. We could get rid of MIP, and get 25K out, but our payments would go up$180/month until we sell this place. It seems that the standard procedure is to get a hard approval from one lender and then start playing them against each other for best deal.


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