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Home Authors Posts by Kira Botkin

Kira Botkin

Kira is a longtime blogger and serial entrepreneur who enjoys gardening, garage sales, and finding stray animals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where football is a distinct season, and by day runs a research study for people with multiple sclerosis. She hopes that the MoneyCrashers team can help you achieve your goals and live a great life.
Private Mortgage Insurance

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – How to Avoid Paying It

If you look at your monthly mortgage statement and see a line for "PMI," you're paying for private mortgage insurance. It probably costs you between $50 and $200 per month, depending on the balance...
When Refinance Mortgage Loan

When Should I Refinance My Mortgage Loan?

Refinancing your mortgage can be a money-saving move, but not in every situation. Since there are costs associated with all refinances, sometimes getting a lower interest rate can actually be more expensive than keeping...
Balloon Payment Mortgage

What Is a Balloon Payment Mortgage?

Mortgages come in many different varieties and if your situation is unusual, you may be best served by an unusual type of mortgage. One of these lesser-used mortgage types is known as a balloon mortgage,...
Refinance Mortgage Home

How to Refinance a Mortgage on Your Home

Refinancing your mortgage can save you thousands in interest over the years and lower your payment. But while you've probably seen commercials with mortgage lenders claiming that they'll take care of everything, you'll only...
Save Down Payment Pay Off Debt

Should I Save for a Down Payment on a House or Pay Off Debt?

When you're preparing to buy a home, it's important to get your finances in order. Not only will you have to be organized to fill out the loan application, but you want to otherwise...
Best Car Buying Services

Best New & Used Car Buying Services Online

If you want to buy a car, but don't want to haggle with salespeople or spend weeks reading the classifieds, using a car buying service may be exactly what you need. It could save...
Mortgage Prepayment Penalty

Beware of the Mortgage Prepayment Penalty

Applying for a mortgage can be tricky. There are many things to consider, including something known as a prepayment penalty. A loan with a prepayment penalty may also come with a lower rate and...
Comprehensive Coverage Car Insurance

What Is Comprehensive Coverage Auto Insurance

If you run into a tree or cause an accident of some sort, the cost of repairing your own car is paid for by your collision coverage. But what if a tree falls on your...
Collision Coverage Auto Insurance

What Is Collision Coverage – Do You Need It in Your Auto Insurance?

If you're like me, you probably spend more time shopping around for a car than for the insurance you need to protect it. Most states require at least a minimal amount of coverage to...
Types Debt Bankruptcy

How Different Types of Debt are Treated in Bankruptcy

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you should know that not all debts are treated equally. For example, certain debts cannot be discharged, or forgiven, and must be repaid in full. Other debts, however,...
Bankruptcy Affect Credit Score

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?

The main issue that discourages most people from filing bankruptcy is the detrimental effect is has on their credit. It's true that a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to ten...
Free Annual Credit Report

What Is a Credit Report – How to Get a Free Annual Credit Report

You may have heard that you should check your smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks to daylight savings time. So in the spirit of preventing a disaster, why not check your credit...