Michael Finney answers your consumer questions

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Fed up? Curious? Furious?! If you need help, just ask Michael Finney, your own consumer expert from 7 On Your Side!

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1:
Annette from Daly City asked: Should I pay off my mortgage before I retire or continue to pay on it while I'm in retirement?

Answer:
Most people prefer to pay off their homes going into retirement. The theory being it's one less thing to worry about. But, if you have plenty of money coming in, the tax write off might be beneficial. However, as you pay down your loan, you need to keep in mind your tax deduction keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller. So, it's best to talk with your financial advisor before making a final decision and before your retirement.

Question 2:

Connie from South San Francisco asked: Where is the best place to look for college scholarships?

Answer:
There are several great ways to go about this. First, I want you to check the financial aid and scholarship office at the college you plan to attend. Then, I want you to visit fastweb.com. There, you will create a free account. It then uses information from your profile and matches you with scholarships on its database. People there say they have more than 1 million scholarships on their site. Finally, look at careeronestop.org. This site is sponsored by the US Department of Labor. There, you'll be able to search for scholarships using keywords and filter them by award types and level of study. Do not rely on ads you find on the Internet because many of them are absolute complete rip offs.

Question 3:
Fely from Daly City asked: When is the best time to buy a house?
Answer:
That is a popular question. It really depends on where you want to buy a home and for how much. RealtyTrac has new data showing the best time to purchase in San Francisco and in parts of the East Bay, like Oakland and Hayward is January 26. But, in the South Bay it's December 31. Generally, you get the best prices during the winter and best selection in Spring. But, remember buying a home in the Spring and early Summer can cost you as much as 10 percent more. Why? Well, that's when demand peaks.

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