Jan 30, 2012
In his State of the Union address, President Obama sketched out a plan to help homeowners refinance, something Allan Sloan calls 'Wall Street bailing out Main Street.'
Jan 25, 2012
The devil is in the details, but hopefully the administration has finally figured out how to help homeowners with underwater mortgages.
Jan 20, 2012
After refinancing my house with a low-rate, conventional 15-year mortgage, I received an offer to set up bi-weekly or weekly payments. What are the benefits and pitfalls of such a plan? Ron, Richmond Hill, GA
Jan 19, 2012
We have achieved the goal of $10,000 in our emergency fund and now we're looking to put that extra money into retirement. However, in this uncertain market with dwindling returns, we're not sure that a long-term retirement fund is the best place to dump all our eggs. ... We have a fairly good mortgage rate of 4.75 percent. Our question is: Would it be better to focus on paying off our mortgage early while the market is so volatile instead of putting all that money into retirement? Every penny paid off to the mortgage early is money we aren't paying interest on, after all. Cathy, Bogart, GA
Jan 13, 2012
Richard Cordray, chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discusses what powers he'll have and how he plans to use them.
Jan 13, 2012
My mortgage is down to $27,000, which I can pay off after topping off my cash reserve (1 year of expenses). Is there any reason not to do this? My interest rate is 4 3/8 percent. I'm getting about 1 percent in my money market account. I have no other debt, and my 401(k) and IRA are maxed out. Ken, Portland, OR
Jan 10, 2012
We'd like to move into a new home, but we aren't confident that we could sell our existing home without taking a large beating on our down payment. I know there's a dollar/cost average play here (i.e., the house we'd buy would be depressed as well), but I just don't like that. So lately I've been considering purchasing a second home and renting our current one as a way to get past the current housing slump. Question is: If I reduce my 401(k) contributions to save for the down payment and eventually fund the new mortgage, (say, down to 6 percent or so to meet the match minimum), is that a good idea, an OK idea, a bad idea or a really bad idea? Thanks! Dean, Atlanta, GA
Jan 5, 2012
I bought a condo in Bozeman, Mont., 7 years ago using a 5/1 ARM. When the 5-year period ended, I let it roll over into a 1-year ARM because the rate went down from 4.5 to 3.25. Then, last year, I did the same -- only from 3.25 to 3 percent. Come March, the 1-year period will expire again and I wonder if I should let this happen again, since rates will probably be low. Or should I bite the bullet, pay approximately $2,500 in closing costs to lock in a low rate for 15 or 30 years, but make higher payments? (My payments are ridiculously low.) Cindy, West Yellowstone, MT
Dec 23, 2011
Mortgage lenders will pay higher fees to Fannie and Freddie to guarantee their loans. That pays for the extension of the payroll tax cut.
Dec 15, 2011
My question is, if your mortgage rate is higher than what you could expect from investing, wouldn't it make more sense to pay on the mortgage? This is almost the same as the concept of paying off the credit card with the highest rate first. What are your thoughts on this? John, Rapid City, SD