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Take advantage of new government programs to cut down your mortgage costs

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Check the latest interest rates at Bankrate.com to see if you might want to refinance at a lower rate and/or longer term to reduce monthly costs. If you are paying PMI (private mortgage insurance) because you had less than 20% as a down payment, but you have built up that much equity, contact your lender to cancel it - keep in mind that if your home has appreciated you might have reached that 20% point even without having made all of those payments. If your mortgage payment is more than 31% of your gross income, you may qualify to have it reduced as part of the HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) - read more at Zillow.com.

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