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 that the first-time home buyer market is “not what it should be” as the economy in general strengthens. “The housing area is one area where regulation has not yet got it right,” Bernanke said. “I think the tightness of mortgage credit, lending is still probably excessive.”
Things haven't always been so tough for the former Federal Reserve chairman however. Bernanke has already has refinanced his mortgage twice before, taking out two loans back in 2004, according to Washington, D.C., land records.