Obama: I’d benefit from refinancing … but can’t

Olivier Knox
Yahoo! News

President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he would probably benefit from refinancing his Chicago home but suggested that it’s not something he can do while in office.

“Not to get too personal, but our home back in Chicago – not the White House, which as I said, that’s a rental – our home back in Chicago, you know, my mortgage interest rate, I would probably benefit from refinancing right now,” Obama said.

“I would save some money,” he said, but “when you’re president, you have to be a little careful about these transactions, so we haven’t refinanced.”

Obama’ s comment came during a 30-minute live-stream conversation about housing with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Questions came from Americans via social media, and Rascoff followed up and steered the conversation.

For more details on how the president might benefit from refinancing, see this Roll Call story that independently came to the same conclusion about the Obamas’ finances.

Obama took a series of questions, some in print, some by video, from Americans expressing concerns about realizing their dream of finding affordable housing or recovering lost equity from the crash of 2008.

The president has been traveling the country to discuss his plans for the economy, the top issue on voters' minds. He has been promoting a blend of familiar and new ideas, but the fate of his proposals is unclear in the divided Congress. On Tuesday, he called for winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and having private capital fill the void left behind.