6 tips to pay down your mortgage faster
In my opinion, paying a mortgage for 20, 30 years is not the best. I mean, why spend a significant fraction of your life paying off debt? If you can get rid of it faster, why not do it?
I know a lot of don’t-pay-your-mortgage-early advocates will not agree with this. In fact, many might argue the best practice is late payment. But I tell you this: If you cherish your peace of mind and want a debt-free life, then the best thing is to pay your mortgage early.
In this post, I’m going to show you tips to pay your mortgage faster. Sit tight and learn.
1. Don’t go with what the lender says you can afford
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender examines your overall financial status to determine how much loan you can qualify for.
You might be tempted to hunt for houses within the loan range they specify. But don’t!
The bank doesn’t understand your finances as much as you do, which means all their financial evaluation of you is nothing but guesswork.
You’re the one who knows how you spend your money and how much you’ll be able to pay monthly without stress. So, when getting a mortgage, shoot below the amount the lender says you can afford. This is the first step to paying a mortgage fast.
2. Make extra payments
When you make more than the required monthly payment, you chip away at the principal amount much faster.
There are two ways to make extra payments on your mortgage:
- Make biweekly payments: Here, you break your monthly payment into two and pay on a biweekly (two weeks) basis instead of monthly. The advantage of this is that you end up paying an extra month per year.
- Make extra monthly payments: When you add extras to your monthly mortgage payments, you reduce the overall interest paid and loan completion duration.
For example, let’s assume you take a 30-year mortgage of $250,000 at a rate of 4 percent. If you add an extra $100 to what you’re paying monthly, you will save yourself four years and $27,957 of interest.
For those who don’t know how to do mortgage calculations, check out this mortgage calculator now. It helps you understand and evaluate the value of your mortgage.
3. Refinance your mortgage
Naturally, there are four reasons people refinance their homes.
- To enjoy lower interest rates
- To cash out a portion of their equity
- To reduce the monthly payments with a longer repayment term
- To increase the monthly payment with a shorter repayment term
If you want to pay your mortgage faster, you can try refinancing with a new loan that offers a lower interest rate and shorter payment duration. With this package, you get the money you need to clear off the original mortgage loan. Then you can repay the new loan faster.
4. Recast your mortgage
Alternatively to refinancing, you can try mortgage recasting if you don’t want to or can’t find a new lender.
Mortgage recasting is a type of mortgage settlement strategy offered by the original mortgage lender.
It involves paying a lump sum toward the principal so that the lender adjusts the amortization schedule to reflect the new balance, resulting in a shorter loan term.
5. Be intentional to make little sacrifices
In most cases, you might need to exercise some discipline to pay off your mortgage faster. That could mean reducing how much you spend on entertainment, feeding, and other general expenses.
Let’s say you eat out at work before; you might want to start packing your lunch. If you take a rideshare to work, you might want to try cabs or buses.
Assuming you start packing your lunch, that could save you some $50-$100, which you can put toward your mortgage every month.
6. Downsize your home
Sometimes the best way to pay a mortgage fast is to sell the home. After selling your home, you can find a property lesser in price than the one you’re currently paying its mortgage, and then you can put the price difference toward paying your mortgage.
Paying off a mortgage fast is not a difficult thing. You just have to be intentional about it. Remember, the faster you clear your mortgage, the earlier you can have your peace of mind.
Story by Uday Tank