Control Freaky, Part Two: Ducks in a Row

I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Finally at the end of the second day I couldn’t take it anymore and called Tim at OneMain.

“Yeah, your income is coming up a little short,” he said.  I think I stopped breathing.

“Okaaaay,” I said, in precisely the same tone that Deb did, sounding like this was a big surprise because frankly, it was.

“It looks like you’re making X amount less than last year.”  I couldn’t understand this, since I had gotten raises at both jobs in October and had been working overtime consistently every week this year at my day job.

“Are there any other sources of income we could use?”  He really wanted to get Tery in on it, despite my continued insistence she wouldn’t be any help at all.

I said, more than a little accusatorily, “Last week I was told ‘no problem.’  I’ve already scheduled the surgery.”

“Yeah, I’m awfully sorry…” But honestly, he didn’t sound very sorry. In fact, I’ve decided that no one can do his job without leaving their soul at the door.

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I couldn’t decide which irritated me more, the fact the deal fell through or the way he evidently wasn’t planning to inform me until I called him.

He promised to see how much they were still willing to offer and would get back to me.

If you refer back to my posts about refinancing (Refinancing: Not For the Weak of Heart or Empty of Wallet), you’ll remember this isn’t my first rodeo. That’s why I joked with Tery that I wouldn’t truly relax until I was waking up from anesthesia and could see my lap with an unobstructed view.  I wasn’t happy to be going around again. The difference was, last time I broke down when the deal fell through after I had gambled a mortgage payment on it. Now at least all I had committed was my heart.

This whole process had felt like juggling cats, and I was starting to drop them.

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I still had CareCredit.  I could still make it work with as little as $2000 from Tim.

I waited until close to the end of the day, and still no word. Given his track record in returning phone calls, I tried again, and was told by the receptionist he was in a closing.  I left a message to please call me back.

I waited until fifteen minutes before they went home for the day and tried again.  He was still in the closing, and the receptionist got extremely snippy at the implication I didn’t trust her to deliver my message. Pardon me, lady, but I’m just working from experience with your office here.
To my surprise, ten minutes later I received a call from Joni, the branch manager. We had talked before, and I got the impression she often jumped in to help her agents (on that occasion she bitched about how they had been understaffed all year).  I liked her. She reminded me strongly of my sister, brisk and no-nonsense, and very good at her job and obviously fiercely proud of that fact.

She insisted we try it with Tery since we had nothing to lose.  And, sorry for all the suspense, but that’s how we got it to work. She said, “Her credit is better than yours.”  This statement was almost as unexpected as the news that my income was insufficient.  Her score is abysmal, but all our current credit cards are in my name, so her utilization ratio is fabulous.  But she also has a pretty ugly history with collection agencies.

I hate what a game the credit rating system is. Let’s make it mysteriously complicated how we calculate it, then make it the basis for every important financial decision in your life.  It’s like visiting a casino–house always wins.

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See? This came up in a search for “soulless bankers”

Tim called with the good news the next day. Except he has the same deadpan, sepulchral tone of voice as David who refinanced us, so I was sure he was going to say just the opposite.  I’d like to watch both of them play poker with all the misleading clues they toss out.

Our closing was scheduled the following Tuesday.  Over the weekend my preop and aftercare instructions arrived in a satisfyingly thorough, thick packet. It was the first real tangible proof I had that this was going to happen.

I also put the last puzzle piece in place and asked my supervisor at the hospital about time off. She conversationally asked why and I froze; I didn’t want to get into the whole boob thing right there. So I lied and said I was visiting family. Harder than coming out of the closet.

The closing went smoothly, despite Tery’s paranoid conviction the whole thing (including my desire for surgery) was an elaborate setup to trap her because her OneMain card was written off in her bankruptcy (I assured her if they wanted to find her, we hadn’t exactly been living underground).

Tim was older than I expected, with a pronounced eye twitch (I hoped from years of building up people’s hopes and then stomping all over them).  He pointed to the final loan amount, “See, we like you so much we’re giving you an extra thirty-one cents!”  Yeah, thirty-one cents that will cost me five dollars with interest. Gee, thanks.

The money appeared in my account a day later, wired directly.  I was mildly disappointed; I would have liked to hold a check for $10,000 (better still, one of those oversized sweepstakes checks). But I suppose, like all money, it’s only a piece of paper without any value beyond what we assign to it.

Now all that’s left is the agonizingly slow wait until August 24!

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