It’s been a long while since I posted. I’ve had a rubbish winter full of viruses and exhaustion, so I just haven’t felt up to much writing or changing, to be honest. But spring has finally sprung, and we are making changes day by day, so back in the saddle I go!
This is a fairly mundane change that we need to make but something which will hopefully mean more spare cash and more flexibility. We are going to change our mortgage provider. This means a ton of tedious paperwork and a lot of legal fees but the bank we are currently with has let us down on more than one occasion, and we have had enough.
The latest was when we asked them for a three month payment break (planned, in advance, with a fixed date when we would resume full payments) so my husband could take parental leave and stay at home with our daughter before she went to a childminder. A few of our friends had done this with their own mortgage providers, with no problems whatsoever, so we were confident our straightforward situation was going to be a no-brainer.
We were strung along for months, with most customer service agents indicating it wouldn’t be a problem, only for them to finally reply only two days before the agreement was to take effect with an “interest only” offer, which would have saved us less than €200 a month, and wasn’t the point. They also made the comment that “lifestyle choices like having children were not the bank’s problem”. That is an actual quote! Plus, they took the opportunity to rewrite the loan agreement with a number of new clauses. Thankfully, I have a very savvy friend in the business who was able to translate the incomprehensible legalese which was the new agreement and advised me that it wasn’t a good idea to sign. The documents were returned with a big “NOT ACCEPTED” written all over them and we used our hard-earned savings to get us through my husband’s unpaid leave instead.
Also, their interest rates are the highest in the country and they are one of the very few banks who haven’t passed on the last few ECB rate cuts. So, bye bye, bank!