8 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years Earlier
Some are better off using the money elsewhere, but extra payments and refinancing can do a number on your mortgage.
Add something to every month’s payment. The advantage to extra payments is that all that money goes toward principal. Early in a mortgage, most of your regular payment goes toward interest. According to calculations by Bankrate.com, if you added an extra $100 to your payment of a new $100,000 30-year mortgage at 4.5 percent interest, you’d pay off the mortgage eight and a half years early and save more than $26,300 in interest.
Make a payment every two weeks. There are companies that volunteer to set this up for you, for a fee, but you can do it yourself for nothing. You’re effectively making a full extra payment each year. Paying half your mortgage payment every two weeks, on that same $100,000, 30-year mortgage at 4.5 percent, would cut just under 5.5 years off the term and save roughly $14,000, according to a calculator at The Mortgage Professor site run by Jack Guttentag. Splitting your mortgage payment into two pieces produces minimal savings.
Make extra payments whenever you can. Beck and her husband started by paying $35 extra per month, but then began making additional payments, at one point so eager to pay off the loan that they made eight payments in a month.
Make one extra payment a year. This provides about the same savings as making half a payment every two weeks. When you make the payment isn’t important. You could make it at the end of the year or wait until you get a tax refund or a bonus.
Refinance your mortgage to a lower rate, and keep making the higher payment. The amount this will save depends on the exact figures, but it should shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands in interest.
Refinance your mortgage to a shorter term. This cuts the amount of interest you pay significantly as well as getting you out of debt sooner.
Contribute funds from another source. Designate money from a bonus, odd jobs or freelance work toward paying of the mortgage. If your income is variable, rather than making regular additional payments toward principal, make one big payment when you can.
Cut expenses and put the savings toward your mortgage. Change to a cheaper cellphone plan, cut the cable cord or otherwise cut living expenses and devote that extra money to extra mortgage payments. Living a frugal lifestyle may be difficult in the moment, but it’s worth the struggle if your ultimate goal is to be debt-free.