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Ask Madison: Reader Mail Volume 4

It’s been awhile since I answered reader mail [1], opting instead to send personal emails when I can. However, some of the emails would probably benefit others. While I was on vacation, I skimmed through some of the recent emails; here are a couple reader questions that might be of interest to readers:

Very interested in your credit card arbitrage. Would like to know how I could use this for “refinancing” a current rental property I have. The property has a remaining mortgage of $22,500 at 7.5%. I purchased it about 8 years ago. If I am able to use a credit card transfer offer for the full amount, am I able to use the interest charged, as mortgage interest for the rental, considering I will no longer receive a 1099? – Kim

If you are using interest paid for a rental, and it doesn’t come from a bank in the form of a traditional mortgage, there is a second line on the Schedule E (line 13) where you can report “other interest” for mortgage interest that is not from a financial institution or did not send a 1098. That’s where I report the cost when financing properties with credit cards [2]. Just make sure to keep good documentation of the money trail!

On #7, how much is the modification fee? What kind of mortgage do you have in order to get 3.375%? – Chris [Referring to #7: Modify your mortgage in 16 Ways to Lower Your Housing Costs [3]]

I’ve done two modifications, once I paid 0.5% of the outstanding balance, the most recent time I paid 1.0%. I have the 5/5 Penfed ARM [4]. Also, I modified on a day when the buydown for the 3.375 rate was .125 points; today, the rate is 3.25% with 0 points!

Now, onto the personal finance articles of the week…



By the Numbers

And More!