Can You Really Pay Off Your Mortgage Early with a HELOC?

There’s a new strategy floating around the personal finance world: paying off your mortgage faster with a home equity line of credit, commonly known as a HELOC. The strategy alleges that you can pay off your mortgage in just a few years. Will it work? On paper it’s brilliant, but I think most of us […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2016

How to Get Rid of PMI

There are various ways to get rid of PMI, a.k.a., private mortgage insurance. A reader posted this question on Facebook: “Anyone have experience with getting a new appraisal done in order to remove PMI? We bought our house in 2012, have 87% LTV at the purchase price. I THINK the value has gone up enough […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2016

Can You Use Retirement Accounts to Buy Your First Home?

We recently received the following question from a reader named Sam: My question: As a first time home buyer, is it possible to leverage retirement accounts as a down payment? Is this a good idea? Does it matter whether its a TSP, Roth IRA, IRA, etc? I seem to be finding conflicting opinions/statements. The answer is not […]

Published or Updated: March 3, 2016

Rocket Mortgage Review – Get a Home Loan in 10 Minutes

For years, Quicken Loans has prided itself as being the best online mortgage broker in town. Its simple application process has helped it grow into one of the largest mortgage companies in the business, accounting for 6% of the mortgages in the United States. That puts them right behind banking giants like Wells Fargo and Chase in […]

Published or Updated: July 17, 2016

How to Calculate the True Savings from Refinancing a Mortgage

There’s no one way to calculate the true savings from refinancing a mortgage. You can – and should – crunch the numbers to make sure that the refinance will actually save you money (it doesn’t always). But you also have to take non-monetary factors into consideration. Let’s take a look at several methods to calculate savings from […]

Published or Updated: November 11, 2015

5 Reasons Never to Pay Off a Mortgage Early (and 1 Reason You Must)

Whether to pay off a mortgage early is an important decision. For some it’s a question of whether to allocate some extra cash each month to the mortgage. For others it’s a question of whether to pay off the home loan all at once. The lump sum approach often becomes an option from an inheritance […]

Published or Updated: September 28, 2015

DR 139: 3% Mortgages Are Back – Is This a Good Thing?

The 3% mortgage is back. After years of turmoil in the housing market and recriminations on whose to blame, the low down payment mortgage has surfaced again. The 3% mortgage will mean more flexibility for homebuyers, and in some cases, for those looking to refinance as well. Until now, borrowers had a choice between conventional […]

Published or Updated: May 5, 2016

DR 108: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest for Retirement?

Imagine you’ve just inherited some money. The amount just happens to match the outstanding balance on your mortgage. Now you have a decision. Do you pay off the mortgage or invest the money for retirement. That’s the question facing a podcast listener named Shelly. Here is her email to me: Great job on your podcasts. […]

Published or Updated: September 23, 2014

Reader Question: Does Applying for a Balance Transfer Card Hurt Your Credit?

A podcast listener named Jennifer emailed me about balance transfer credit cards and her credit score. She plans to apply for a home equity line of credit soon and is concerned that getting a card before then could lower her FICO score. Here’s Jennifer’s email: I have started listening to your 31 day money challenge […]

Published or Updated: September 18, 2014

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