Suze Orman's Webcast Transcript
Suze: How long is some time?
Tanya: Maybe the next 10 or 15 years.
Suze: All right, good. If that—if you are going to be there for 10 or 15 years, because somehow I'm going to suspect that all the millionaires that are out there, this market probably did them in. And so anyway, so what would be great is for you to become your own millionaire to yourself on some level.
Suze: So here's the good news. The good news is interest rates on 30-year mortgages are at their all-time low. Today, as a matter of fact, they just broke the 5 percent range. They're like 4.9 percent 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Are you kidding? So what I would do is who cares if the bank that you're deeming with isn't going to give you a mortgage? If you, hopefully you'll take advantage of the FICO kit where you can get it for 25 bucks, work on it, improve your FICO situation there, save money so when the time comes, because interest rates are only going to stay down here. They're not going to go up. You'll be able to refinance the whole thing hopefully at a 4 and a half percent interest rate, 30-year fixed, your payment will come down dramatically, and in the long run this will be a blessing. But you have to make it your number one priority to be saving money so that if you have to come up with money to qualify for the mortgage, you'll be able to do so. Got that?
Tanya: Got it. Thank you so much.
Suze: Good. Got it? Get it? Good.
Oprah: Got it? Good. Thank you so much, Tanya. Shelissa from Chicago's on the line. Hi, Shelissa.
Shelissa: Hey, Oprah.
Shelissa: Hi, Suze. Thank you all for taking my call.
Shelissa: I just wanted to let you all know I made a crazy and stupid mistake. I purchased a home in—for my brother in my name and the mortgage has adjusted from $2,400 to $3,400 and he can't afford this. So I'm taking on the—the rest of the amount. And now I put the house up for sale on a short sale and I've used $5,000 of my savings to get the mortgage called up because he was 30 days behind. So what I want to know is, should I continue using my savings, which is $9,000—
Shelissa: That's my question.
Suze: So Shelissa, here's the thing. $9,000 is only going to get you by two or three more months.
Suze: But here is the real problem. The house is in whose name?
Shelissa: It's in mine.
Suze: And the house is a rental. It is not your primary residency. Correct?
Suze: And—because you're renting it to your brother.
Shelissa: Well, I was—yes, technically, yes.
Suze: So because it's not your primary residency, the real problem here is how much of a mortgage do you have? How much do you owe?
Shelissa: I'm sorry, it's $290,000, but it's worth $270,000.
Suze: All right, great. I want you to sell the house right now. Because if you can sell the house right now, the difference is only $20,000. $270,000 from what you owe—you know, from what you could sell it, $290,000 from what you owe, that's only a $20,000 difference. If you can do a short sale on that and you have to—
Shelissa: It's up for sale now. Short sale has been in place for 30 days now.
Suze: All right. So if you can sell it, great. But you will owe income tax on that $20,000 difference. Did you know that?
Shelissa: Yeah, I did know that.
Suze: Great, girlfriend. Then owing income tax on $20,000 is nothing because if you think about it, income tax on $20,000 is going to be less than you shelling out $2,000 or $3,000 every single month for God knows how long to keep this house for your brother.
Suze: And, by the way, you should hold him to this so that once you go through this with him and it's gone, he owes you this money, and he should pay it back to you.
Shelissa: Right. I did have him sign an agreement with the amount that was owed because he had someone else that was staying there with him as well helping pay the mortgage, so I did have them both sign a notarized letter stating how much they owe, how much they're going to be paying monthly to pay this money back.
Suze: So, girlfriend, you already know what to do. You got it. Just stay in your power, you got me?
Shelissa: I didn't know if I should use the rest of my savings—
Suze: No. No. No.
Shelissa: Okay. Because I didn't want to do that.
Oprah: No. You got it? No.
Shelissa: No. Okay, good.
Suze: Here's the question. Did you just hear what she said?
Suze: She said, "Good, because I didn't want to do that." But then why is she asking me for something that you knew you didn't want to do?
Oprah: Yeah, that's a good question, Shelissa. Why are you asking Suze—
Shelissa: Because I didn't want my credit to be messed up.
Suze: Oh, who cares? I'd rather have money in the back and a bad FICO score than a great FICO score and no money in the bank. Everybody, your priorities are all screwed up.
Shelissa: I wanted your expert opinion and thanks.
Suze: You got it.
Shelissa: I feel better.
Suze: Did you see her voice changed at the end?
Oprah: Yeah. Yeah.
Suze: That's good.
Oprah: I didn't want to do that anyway because money in the bank is better than even a bad FICO score.
Suze: It's true.
Oprah: It's money in the bank.
Suze: Do you know all these people always tell me, "Suze, I have a great FICO score. I pay my bills on time every single month." But they have absolutely no money and they're taking money from one credit card to pay another credit card, and all they care about is their FICO score. Now that's great. I want all of you to have a good FICO score. You need one. You need money more than a score. That's what I say. So I'd rather have money than—you know? No.