17% mortgage interest

24 04 2013

I was going through some old files the other day, weeding out stuff that was no longer relevant, when I came across this letter from my bank regarding my mortgage. It’s dated 1989 and took me straight back to the time when struggling to pay the mortgage was a grim reality.


I’d sold my first house and had really extended myself for my second place. When I took out the mortgage on the second property in April 1988, interest rates were around 13.5% and I budgeted my payments for 15%. The creeping rates became a real concern when they went past 15% and just didn’t stop.

The only good thing about those rising interest rates was that they forced me into taking in a rent-paying roommate. I was more than content to live by myself, but my killer mortgage forced me into sharing my house with a total stranger who happened to be a good friend (and later wife) of an old friend of mine. Well, that stranger — a young girl from Minnesota — became a really good friend, someone whom I still keep in touch with today.

So good things can come out of dark days.