Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and Refinancing

Rising home prices has helped many homeowners get richer on paper...they have also prompted a big influx of questions about private mortgage insurance (PMI) and refinancing, so we figured it was time to bring on an expert.

Nicole Hamilton, a tech executive-turned-mortgage and homeownership expert, founded Tactile Finance, the first digital tools that let people visualize their homeownership outcomes over time, putting consumers on a level playing field with the professionals who serve them.

Nicole is also the author of the book Avoid the Money Pit, Turn Your Home into a Financial Powerhouse, and the founder of, a company that provides unbiased, independent information for homeowners to get the best financial outcome possible.

We touched on a variety of topics and questions facing the average consumer as they try to navigate the murky waters of homeownership:

  • What if I don’t have 20% for a downpayment?
  • What is PMI?
  • How do I know if I need PMI?
  • Should PMI be a dealbreaker?
  • Will PMI eventually go away?
  • Will PMI go away on its own or is it my responsibility?
  • Is refinancing always a good idea?
  • Pros and cons of an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
  • Should I prepay my mortgage?

All those topics and more! And based on what we’ve been seeing in the inbox, I think we did a pretty good job covering all your burning questions!

So when you’re checking out those open houses this summer, or considering a refi before rates go even higher, playback this episode and you’ll be well armed with loads of information.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman,