Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Can't Refinance His Mortgage

October 3, 2014

Ben Bernanke, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, got $250,000 just for giving a 40-minute speech in March 2014. He inked a reportedly seven-figure book deal earlier this year. He leads a think tank now, but in his previous position, he was responsible for setting the interest rate policy for the entire country.

With all that, you'd think that Ben Bernanke would have no problems when it comes to his mortgage. But Bernanke, speaking at a conference in Chicago on Oct. 2, recently admitted that he "recently tried to refinance [his] mortgage," but was "unsuccessful in doing so."

"I'm not making that up," Bernanke said, when his audience laughed at what they considered to be a clever joke.

Bernanke's current home cost $839,000 and is assessed at $815,000. He should have no problem refinancing his mortgage (he's already refinanced twice)  — especially if he can line up just a few more 40-minute speaking engagements. But Bernanke, who went from holding the position of chairman of the Federal Reserve to being a fellow at the Brookings Institution, could be considered a a higher credit risk because of his recent job switch.

Bernanke said it's "entirely possible" that lenders have established too-tight mortgage credit conditions.

Source: Bloomberg News (Oct. 3, 2014)