Lenders usually require PMI when someone buys a house with less than 20% down. PMI protects the lender in case the buyer can’t pay the mortgage. Once your loan drops to 80% of the house’s value—because you pay down the principal or your home increases in value—PMI is no longer required. Call or write your loan servicer and the PMI company to ask how to drop it.
More savings: Switch your homeowners’ insurance to a less-expensive company—shop around by phone, or ask your state insurance department if it surveys costs. Consider a higher deductible to reduce costs further.
Laura Bushnell is Editor in Chief for National Review Brand Foundation of Consumer Updates and based in Boston. Previously, she held senior VP level positions in corporate finance and consumer financial planning firms.