Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster
What would it be like to be out of debt? No mortgage payment? It may seem unrealistic as you sit there reading this, but in reality, you can get rid of your mortgage years ahead of time.
Here are some simple – not always easy, but simple – steps you can follow to eliminate that mortgage and truly own your home:
Make bi-weekly payments – For example, if your monthly payment is $1200, you would pay $600 on your mortgage every two weeks. By doing this, you will have made a full extra payment at the end of the year; possibly taking as much as four years off of your mortgage (given a 30-year mortgage). However, please contact your bank or lender to ensure they offer a bi-weekly service and this is an option to ensure your payments get credited appropriately and avoid late monthly payments.
Make one extra payment each quarter – this will save you thousands in interest over the life of your mortgage.
Divide your monthly payment by 12 and add that amount to your monthly payment. You’ll end up making 13 total payments each year and shave off a few years of debt. (Ex. Mortgage = $1200/month | 1200/12 = 100 | New Monthly Payment = $1300).
Shop around your homeowner’s insurance – if you can get a policy for less money, you are saving money almost immediately! Then, instead of pocketing those savings, put that money toward your mortgage. Tip here: a higher deductible can often save you money on your policy.
If it makes sense (usually if you can save 0.500 to 0.750 or more on your interest rate), refinance your home for a lower interest rate. Again, instead of lowering your payment to the bank each month, pay the same amount that you used to pay, and get that loan paid off faster.
Anytime you find yourself with extra cash on your hands (tax refund, work bonus, inheritance...etc), tag on that extra money to that monthly payment. Often we take these windfalls and turn them into down payments on yet more debt. Buck that trend and pay debt off instead – the peace of mind you’ll purchase is invaluable!
7. The debt snowball from Dave Ramsey is a great way to deal with debt: not just your mortgage, but any debt. Simply take the smallest debt you have, regardless of interest rate, and pay that off as quick as you can. Say that’s a credit card and the payment is $50/month. Once that debt is paid, take that $50/month and use it to pay off the next smallest debt, and so on. Chances are, by the time you tackle your mortgage, you’ll be ready to pay several hundred extra dollars a month towards it, and you’ll have it paid off years ahead of time.
I love sharing my years of experience with my borrowers! Rates are historically low, so if you are curious about buying a home or refinancing one you already own, get in touch. It never hurts to take a look. I work with conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and renovation loans; we can talk in person, on the phone, or you can email me any time.