has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

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mesaverde
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:14 pm

has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by mesaverde » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:29 pm

I need to refinance my home and have compared rates at PenFed, Amerisave, and Aimloan. The rates and closing costs are pretty much the same- no significant differences. I'm leaning towards PenFed for these reasons:
1. the loan servicing would not change
2. Penfed often offers other good products like CD's that I'd likely take advantage of

But I've read stories here on Bogleheads that refinancing with PenFed can take literally forever. Has anyone RECENTLY refinanced with PenFed, say, within the last year? If so, what was your expreience? Thanks!
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

bayview
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by bayview » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:37 pm

We refi'd with PenFed almost exactly a year ago. It was slower than Christmas, especially for a refi which IMO ought to go more quickly than an initial purchase, but it finally went through.

I felt that their communication was pretty much awful. When I'd finally get ahold of someone, the response was sort of a surprised reaction that we were confused/ upset/ needed more info/ etc. However, it was worth it for the rate, and the paralegal who actually did the closing was great, including slogging through the snow to meet us at an Atlanta Bread Company for the final signatures.

My advice: find out the names and emails of the people working your application, and cheerfully and politely keep on top of them.

FWIW, we did a HELOC 3 months ago with TD Bank, and we had a similar experience. So maybe this is the norm, and control freaks like me should just lay in some extra wine, grit our teeth, and ride it through.

--we wound up selling the house that we did the refi on to buy another in the neighborhood we'd been trying to get into for two years, so we didn't recoup the costs of the refi, but we're still OK that we did it.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

mesaverde
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:14 pm

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by mesaverde » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:35 pm

bayview wrote:We refi'd with PenFed almost exactly a year ago. It was slower than Christmas, especially for a refi which IMO ought to go more quickly than an initial purchase, but it finally went through.

I felt that their communication was pretty much awful. When I'd finally get ahold of someone, the response was sort of a surprised reaction that we were confused/ upset/ needed more info/ etc. However, it was worth it for the rate, and the paralegal who actually did the closing was great, including slogging through the snow to meet us at an Atlanta Bread Company for the final signatures.

My advice: find out the names and emails of the people working your application, and cheerfully and politely keep on top of them.

FWIW, we did a HELOC 3 months ago with TD Bank, and we had a similar experience. So maybe this is the norm, and control freaks like me should just lay in some extra wine, grit our teeth, and ride it through.

--we wound up selling the house that we did the refi on to buy another in the neighborhood we'd been trying to get into for two years, so we didn't recoup the costs of the refi, but we're still OK that we did it.
Thank you for the tips. How long did it take them to refinance (from the day you applied to the day of closing)?
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

bayview
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by bayview » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:42 am

As best as we can remember, it was right at six weeks, 2nd week of January to very end of February.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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Go Blue 99
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Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:22 am

We did a refi 1.5 yrs ago with penfed. The process was very slow and they were slow to respond to emails also. However I was willing to be patient because we were doing the no closing cost 5/5 arm.

highdesert
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:50 am

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by highdesert » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:59 am

I closed on a refi with PenFed (5/5 ARM) a couple of weeks ago. Their ARMs all include a 90-day rate lock, and the process took 86 days from application date to closing date. I would say don't expect to close more than a few days before your lock expires. Their processors weren't particularly responsive and seemed to wait until the final month to do much of anything. FWIW, it also takes some time for the new mortgage to appear online once you close.

That said, the closing went off without a hitch and overall it was probably worth the frustration; their ARM rates are better and closing costs lower than most other banks, and the ARMs are also assumable.

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Utetooth
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Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by Utetooth » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:46 pm

I am considering a refi with PenFed right now. I am sure this is a stupid question but is the 1% origination fee in addition to "closing costs"?

The reason I ask is because on the Amerisave website they clearly delineate between lenders fees and closing costs (appraisal, title transfer fee, title insurance, etc). It is not as clear to me from the PedFed site.

Thanks
"Be generally frugal and selectively extravagant" - White Coat Investor

highdesert
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:50 am

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by highdesert » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:06 pm

Yes, points/origination charges, "access fees", and any loan level pricing adjustments all fall under the "loan costs" portion of your closing costs.

minneapples
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Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

Post by minneapples » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:00 pm

I refinanced my mortgage in September 2015. We closed the very last day of the 60 day lock, and no one could tell me until the closing (not even a couple hours before the closing--and I dogged then on this) how much the closing costs would be so I was unable to bring payment to the closing. Ordinarily I would have had to pay to wire the money but my bank waived the fee when I was fielding calls from PenFed while I was with the banker and he felt bad for me. I think if I had not made closing on time essentially a part time job we would not have closed in time. They also screwed up my auto debit paperwork so my first payment was not made on time and I had to scramble to get it there during the grace period. It was all around very poor service. If you've found comparable rates elsewhere, I would advise you not to use Pen Fed.

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