Paying off the mortgage on your home faster not only means that you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with completely owning your property sooner, but you may also save thousands of dollars in mortgage interest payments over time.
Below are seven clever tips to help you get your mortgage payments on the fast track.
Save for a large down payment
Make as large of a down payment as you can reasonably afford. The more cash you can put down, the less you’ll have to borrow from the bank. This will reduce your monthly mortgage obligation.
Read the fine print
When you are choosing a mortgage, ask your lender if there are restrictions related to paying extra principal monthly. Some lenders will charge you for making extra or early payments.
Prepay early in the life of the mortgage
The early years of a mortgage are interest-heavy. On a 30-year mortgage, throughout the first five to seven years, you payments are mostly interest. Request an amortization schedule of your mortgage to get a clear picture of how this works.
Be smart with unexpected fortune
If you get an unexpected chunk of cash, such as a gift, prize, work bonus, inheritance, tax refund or other windfall, consider applying it directly toward paying down the principal on your mortgage.
Double-check your records
When you make extra payments, ensure that they are processed correctly. Sometimes when the lender receives a payment that is outside of the monthly cycle, they may not know what to do with it. Make a special note and keep track of the payments yourself, so you can make sure they’ve been applied to your principal.
Increase your payment
Even increasing your monthly mortgage payment by a small amount may take years off the length of your mortgage. Consider how much additional you can afford to pay every month rather than just the minimum required payment amount.
Think about a bi-weekly payment
Many lenders offer accelerated, bi-weekly mortgage payment programs which can reduce your loan term by several years, saving mortgage interest over the life of the loan.
These are just a few techniques you can use to pay off your mortgage more quickly. Remember, the fewer years you pay on your home loan, the less mortgage interest you will pay over time.