These easy payment changes can help you be mortgage-free sooner.
A mortgage is a major commitment. You pay back a large sum of money based on an agreement with your lender. But you have flexibility when it comes to making mortgage payments, which could help make it easier.
For example, you could change your payment frequency and payment amount, according to the terms of your mortgage agreement. You can also use any prepaymentOpens a popup. privileges to pay down your mortgage when you have extra money available, like a tax refund or work bonus. Also, if you increase your down payment, your mortgage will be smaller and easier to pay off. Learn how to make these strategies work for you.
Make your payments fit your monthly cash flow
Most people pay their mortgages monthly, but you can choose another payment frequency:
Semi-monthly (24 payments per year) Your monthly payment is divided in half; you pay twice a month.
Biweekly (26 payments per year) Your monthly payment is multiplied by 12 and divided by 26; you pay every 2 weeks.
Accelerated biweekly (26 payments per year) Your monthly payment is divided by 2 and you pay every 2 weeks; this adds up to one extra monthly payment per year.
Weekly (52 payments per year) Your monthly payment is multiplied by 12 and divided by 52; you pay every week.
Accelerated weekly (52 payments per year) Your monthly payment is divided by 4 and you pay every week; this adds up to one extra monthly payment per year.
Increasing your payment frequency to accelerated biweekly or accelerated weekly reduces your principal and amortization faster. But you may need to pay an interest adjustment amountOpens a popup. for the period from your last payment to the revised payment date.
To fit your cash flow, you could also schedule your mortgage payments to come out of your account on your pay day.
If your mortgage agreement lets you, increase or even double your regular mortgage payment without paying additional fees or penalties. Any amount you pay that's over and above your regular payment goes straight to your principal. This means you'll be mortgage-free sooner.
Use your prepayment privileges
Most lenders let you prepay 10% to 20% once per calendar year. So, you could use these privileges to your advantage. If you make larger lump sum payments, you'll pay your mortgage down quicker. Your interest costs over the term go down and you'll be mortgage-free sooner.
Shorten your amortization period
You can save thousands of dollars by shortening your amortization period from 30 to 25 years, or from 25 to 20 years. Your regular payment goes up, but you’ll pay off your mortgage faster. The longer the principal is outstanding, the more interest you pay over the life of your mortgage.
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