Let’s be honest, the first of the month creeps up on everyone and the mortgage payment is due. The new trend of paying off the mortgage early is in and refinancing to take money out of our homes is out. Living through the foreclosure crisis, more people want the security and the psychological benefit of owning their home free and clear.
If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you'll find plenty of experts recommending ways to do it. All strategies work, but you'll find some methods of paying off your mortgage are safer, faster, and more painless than others.
Tips to pay off mortgage early:
Make an extra house payment each quarter, and you’ll save a great portion of money in interest and reduce the length of your mortgage substantially. If you pay a little more principal, you get a bonus. The lower your principal gets, the more every payment from then on is applied to principal, as less goes to cover interest expense.
Divide your payment by 12 and add that amount to each monthly payment, or pay half of your payment every two weeks, also known as bi-weekly payments. Biweekly payments take advantage of the fact that there are 52 weeks in the year and 12 months. If you pay half your regular mortgage payment every other week, you'll have made 26 half-payments, or the equivalent of 13 full monthly payments, at year's end. You’ll make one extra payment each year shaving years off your mortgage.
Round up your payments so you’re paying at least a few extra dollars a month. When you pay extra, make sure the extra is applied to the principal balance, not just set aside for the next payment.
Increase your payment when you get a raise or bonus.
Always check with your mortgage company before you make additional principal payments. Some companies will only accept extra payments at specific times or they may charge prepayment penalties. And always make sure the additional money is applied to the principal and not next month’s payment.
Whether you plan to pay off your mortgage early or not, some of these steps can be applied to other types of debt. It all boils down to hard work.
As I have said since the beginning, please call a local Realtor for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.
Lisa DiBiase is a co-owner/Realtor at Landing Real Estate in Portland.