Whenever I hear from home buyers about Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI as the industry calls is, mostly they’re asking how they can avoid it.

Lenders require borrowers to have PMI on a loan if they put down less than 20 percent on a home. The smaller the down payment, the higher the PMI. And you’ll pay PMI unless you refinance or pay down your mortgage.

When interest rates are super-low, it makes more sense to get an 80/10/10 loan, or even an 80/20 loan, where your first mortgage is for 80 percent of the home’s sales price and you take out a home equity loan to pay for the rest of the purchase.

That way, the interest you pay is deductible if you itemize. PMI is not deductible.

But now that interest rates are rising, it’s time to reconsider PMI. Have your lender map out the difference in cost between a piggy-back loan or a mortgage with PMI.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB