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How to Get Rid of PMI: Tips to Ditch Private Mortgage Insurance Fast

SIphotography/iStock Most people with private mortgage insurance want to know how to get rid of it. And for good reason: PMI tacks on a substantial extra fee to your already massive mortgage payments. Lenders traditionally require PMI for borrowers who put down less than 20% on a house. Of course, it’s a godsend if you couldn’t afford a home otherwise. But once you have PMI, …

Tax Deduction Options to Know About If You Work from Home

Geber86/iStock If you work from home, even on a part-time basis, you can probably save some dough come tax time by deducting your home office costs. The challenge has always been the 43-line, MENSA-like IRS form home office workers had to complete, which may have kept some from even taking advantage of this home tax …

Avoiding Mortgage Relief Program Scams: 6 Tips to Keep You Safe

A mortgage relief program can be a lifesaver if you fall behind on your mortgage payments. But when you’re facing bills you can’t pay, desperation may begin to seep in. And if you’re desperate, there are thieves and swindlers ready to take advantage of your situation. Mortgage relief program scams Desperate to avoid foreclosure, it’s easy …

How Retirees Can Plan for the Unexpected

Max Whittaker/Getty Images Many people anticipate their future living expenses as they approach retirement, aiming to pad their nest eggs so they’ll be able to live comfortably on a fixed income. It’s the unexpected expenses that can trip them up. Top among those expenses that can put a wrench in retiree budgets: Unexpected home repairs …

8 Grave Mistakes to Never, Ever Make With Your HELOC

Kameleon007/iStock A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, has long been a popular way to tap the equity in your home and get your hands on a quick infusion of cash. In the past, one big plus of using a HELOC—rather than an unsecured loan or credit card—was that you could deduct the interest you …

How to Get a Mortgage With No Credit: A Ray of Hope for ‘Invisibles’

courtneyk/iStock; realtor.com Trying to buy a home with bad credit is hard. But what about trying to buy a home with no credit at all? There’s a name for these people: “credit invisibles.” It means they don’t have a credit report or score on file with the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), usually because they don’t have a traditional …