Letters: Michael Ian Black and record-low mortgage rates

Tess Vigeland and Paddy Hirsch May 4, 2012

So Marketplace Money tried something new last week. Michael Ian Black read an excerpt from his new memoir, a passage about his irresponsible purchase of a BMW. Paddy and Tess thought to shake things up and hear about how someone — preferably funny — spends their money. Some of you loved it; some of you called it pointless.

Paddy and Tess’ stance? They know Marketplace Money is about personal finance, but that doesn’t mean every story needs to be about retirement or college debt. Personal finance is about a lot more than that: It’s about how we spend our resources, whether that means our money, our intellectual, physical or emotional resources, or even our time. It all translates to a financial gain or loss eventually.

So back onto something more personal finance-y: mortgage. Paddy delved into the mystery of the 3.84 percent 30-year mortgage rate. How is that the average? Who is getting that incredible rate? Well, Paddy learned that you have “pay points,” essentially prepaying a certain amount of their mortgage interest. He also learned when it’s worth paying points and what it’s not.

Click play on the audio player above for more.

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