Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Hi...this post is for advice and to vent.

My H and I are trying to refinance our house.

Go back to 3 years ago when we got our mortgage...I had a better credit score but his was lower. We got a decent interest rate, however, we also had $12,000 tagged on our credit from a credit card that belongs to his mom. Long story...his mom cannot handle her finances anymore...my H has POA, etc. Why she has 12K on a credit card? That's another story.

Anyway...my H looked into getting this refinance and has paperwork etc. I just have to sign it. The refinance should save us $300.00 or so a month, which is good. Of course you have to cover the cost of refinancing, but after that we will be saving money.

The problem is, when I looked at the paperwork...there is the 12K credit card from his mom again. I had asked him after we got the first mortgage to PLEASE get his name off of his mother's card, so it would not affect us in the future. Well, it's still in his name and I'm pissed. I told him I'm not signing until he gets name off of account.

The loan person is telling me that we shouldn't take his name off account now as it may affect the credit...that we should wait, get the loan, and then take his name off. She is saying that we have the highest credit? at 740 so we should just go with this. This may be true, but logically it doesn't make sense and I'm also pissed that he hasn't taken care of this. Does anyone know if taking my H's name off of this now would indeed affect his credit score so that we wouldn't get a good deal on refi?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 08:40 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

With a credit score of 740, I don't think it would make any difference at this point. I think the loan person is right in that you should wait until after you get the mortgage because it could become a question mark on your credit, or maybe even temporarily seen as a default, which could lower your credit score.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 08:51 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Any changes in his credit history (like closing an acct. by taking his name off) will ding his credit at least temorarily). That can have a domino effect on things like your mortgage refi that is already in process with an interest rate that is contigent on credit score.

He likely can't get his name dropped off of the credit card account until it is paid in full if he is jointly responsible and not just an "authorized user" with your MIL as a primary.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Thanks Kristin and Luvher.

He has told me he is an "authorized user", but I obviously need to confirm that.

It's just not sitting well with me that he let this go and didn't take care of it. Typical MO for him, though. I wonder how he would react if we had 12K debt from my family tagged on? If I find out he is jointly responsible...well that's another level of WTF.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:02 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Call a credit reporting company to ask this question. The answer is "it depends."

IF his other credit accounts are open a long time and her card is short and he is only having his name removed then it could improve.

IF his other credit accounts are NOT open a long time and her card IS open a long time then having his name removed could worsen his score.

Some thing applies with comparing the credit standing of the accounts as well as ratio of balance to credit limits. A credit reporting agency can advise you on where he would stand before and after a change like that.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:08 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Being an authorized user does not affect your credit, really. It doesn't help or hurt, and won't affect any of his revolving balances or ratios, per se.

Being an auth user gives him the opportunity to spend on her credit, not the other way around. Most auth users are kids in college using mommy and daddy's credit.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:09 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

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Originally Posted by Blossom Leigh View Post
IF his other credit accounts are NOT open a long time and her card IS open a long time then having his name removed could worsen his score.
This is true, if he's not an authorized user. Age of oldest open revolving trade is a big factor at FICO.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Ok now loan rep is saying no worries about the MIL account...that if he takes his name off his score is at 753 so it shouldn’t do too much to hurt it.

Not sure why he first told me score was 740 and now it's 753...?

Should I have him take his name off or not? I guess it would be best to leave it and take it off after...but this is sticking in my craw because this is exactly how it went down with the first mortgage. I'm annoyed, because he basically says "Oh, sorry I forgot to do this" and then acts like it's no big deal. We have had HUGE financial issues in the past, so it's not like this is the first offense.

BTW the MIL credit card was opened in June of 1990.

We have other credit cards in good standing from July 2000, Sep 2001. And I confirmed he is an authorized user.

Last edited by bluezone; 05-05-2016 at 09:59 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:09 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

There are three areas her card could affect him.

Length of time open 1990 .... this is excellent

Paid on time?? If so great!

Ratio of balance to credit line

This is why calling a credit bureau could help... the first two may be great but the third could kill it. Best to call to make sure.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

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Originally Posted by Blossom Leigh View Post
There are three areas her card could affect him.

Length of time open 1990 .... this is excellent

Paid on time?? If so great!

Ratio of balance to credit line

This is why calling a credit bureau could help... the first two may be great but the third could kill it. Best to call to make sure.
Hi Blossom...

Thanks for your response.

I tried to find a number to call, but am not having luck. Automated systems with no choice of just question about credit... I'm talking about Experian, Equifax, etc.

I'm looking again....

Will refi rate change daily, or do I have time to figure this out?


Last edited by bluezone; 05-05-2016 at 12:37 PM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:23 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

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Originally Posted by bluezone View Post
Ok now loan rep is saying no worries about the MIL account...that if he takes his name off his score is at 753 so it shouldn’t do too much to hurt it.

Not sure why he first told me score was 740 and now it's 753...?

Should I have him take his name off or not? I guess it would be best to leave it and take it off after...but this is sticking in my craw because this is exactly how it went down with the first mortgage. I'm annoyed, because he basically says "Oh, sorry I forgot to do this" and then acts like it's no big deal. We have had HUGE financial issues in the past, so it's not like this is the first offense.

BTW the MIL credit card was opened in June of 1990.

We have other credit cards in good standing from July 2000, Sep 2001. And I confirmed he is an authorized user.
since he's the auth user, it literally has zero impact on his credit. good or bad. it's all on MIL's credit. So, to his credit, even if it's unintentional on his part, this is very much "not a big deal"

different score = multiple bureau's pulled. each repository (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) will have access to and report tradelines slightly different, so the FICO score will waiver a bit. Depending on region, on repository is a better bet to be accurate than the others. A lot of lenders will pull all 3, just to make sure they're not missing something significant, especially for a mortgage.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:24 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

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Hi Blossom...

Thanks for your response.

I tried to find a number to call, but am not having luck. Automated systems with no choice of just question about credit... I'm talking about Experian, Equifax, etc.
Look up a local small town type credit bureau in your yellow pages.

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom. - Anais Nin
Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine. Karen Rohlf
Be soft as possible, but firm as necessary - Pat Parelli

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:47 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

get his name off asap.

if something happens to mom it will be his debt. Maybe mom should do a balance transfer to a low interest card and then just close this one.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:54 AM
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

I had a lien against me that was wrong and I didn't realize it was there until I went to buy my house. My old HOA tagged me after I left and it was for like 1200. What jerks. It was also about 6 years old. Anyway, the loan guy told me not to touch it as it could mess things up, and I told him ok. I did call them and talked to them about it and the guy said he'd get back to me about the debt. Well, he went ahead and removed it before telling me he would and it got me all nervous.

It didn't matter either way.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Help...Trying to refinance and dealing with mom-in-law's debt

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Ok he went ahead and took his name off of account...I didn't tell him to but he did so. I checked with local credit bureau...they said he needs to send MIL credit card company a letter stating that he is POA for her, and then he will not have any issues with getting information regarding her account. They told me if the bill is in her name and coming to her house, then it is her debt. I just don't want it on our credit report.

Loan rep said shouldn't really affect the loan...I will let you know.

Last edited by bluezone; 05-05-2016 at 12:11 PM.
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