2/03/2009

TAX-READY

We just received our last tax document - Hubby's W-2.

We're now ready to tackle those pesky tax returns. It's one of those things that I dread doing - not because I think we're going to owe money, but because it's not exactly the fastest thing to accomplish. Yes, there's worry that the IRS will find something wrong with the return, etc. But we use Turbo Tax Online and answer all the questions, fill in all the correct information, so we don't have much to worry about. Can't really help it though.

Perhaps we'll get to it during the week or over the weekend. I've already started mentally spending the return, even though I don't know how much it will be. (Better be getting a return!)

While I'd love to spend it on all sorts of things, the most responsible thing to do would be to pay down debt, set some aside for savings, and invest some of it. How boring is that though?

On a related note, we are in the process of refinancing our house. We were originally wanting to streamline our loan, but the rates to do a conventional streamline were so freaking low that it would be dumb not to do it. While I don't like the fact that the loan will be extended out to 30 years again, how could we say no to 4.75% APR?! Crazy low, I know! AND we'll be able to roll in our Home Equity loan into it, which achieves the goal of fixing it (the rate, that is).

Yesterday, the appraiser came by and noted how well we maintained the house (I wasn't there, but that's what she told Hubby). We're puffing with pride a little, as we did do some work on the house that we're really proud of. Not huge remodels, but some upgrades here and there. And yes, we took care of the house we call our home. We don't have the appraisal value as of yet, but we're not too worried about it. Just can't wait to get it all finalized. The house payment will drop significantly, and if we make the same payments as we are making now, the house will be paid off in a fraction of the time.

One thing we learned in this process, however, is the impact of available credit on our credit score. While our credit score is good enough to qualify for really great rates, we were told that it's really close to dropping to less than excellent. (And they pulled the report before my new car loan showed up!) The loan consultant said that the score was being affected by the amount of credit available to us and not by the amount of credit that we're using.

We had never used all of our credit all at once because that would be stupid, but...not everyone has the same thinking. So, one of our Spring Cleaning tasks includes closing credit accounts that we don't use. We're going to close the Home Equity Line of Credit once it's paid off. We both have personal lines of credit that we never use, so those can go. And there's some store cards that were opened and used once which can go as well. While I'm on the phone with the bank, I'll lower the limit on my emergency Visa card - right now the limit is $12,500 and I haven't used that card in years. Gotta get the financial house in order in addition to the home house.

Who knew being and adult would be so much work?

2 comments:

Paula said...

It is so tedious to deal with finances! Good luck on it all :)

Auburn Kat said...

You have to be careful with your credit score and the available amounts, a lot of people don't realize that that is part of how your credit score is calculated. I really wish they would teach high school students about credit scores. Hopefully someday they will!

I also use Turbo Tax online for my taxes.