A mortgage is generally one of the biggest debts that a person faces in life, and a large part of that expense is due to the interest that is added on as time goes by. Most homeowners would gladly reduce that debt if the opportunity presented itself, though they do not realize that the key to reducing their mortgage debt lies in reducing the amount of interest that they pay on their mortgage.
By paying off their mortgage months or even years in advance, all of the interest that they would have had to pay during that time obviously will not have to be paid. Also, the interest that will be paid will be at a reduced rate because they are reducing the total amount that the interest is applied to at a much faster rate.
The trick, of course, comes in figuring out a way to pay off the mortgage early. For individuals who live on a tight budget as it is, the thought of paying even more toward their mortgage may seem almost laughable.
There are a number of ways that homeowners can pay down their overall mortgage in order to pay it off early without having to cause a strain on their finances, as well as services which can assist them in doing so if they aren’t able to accomplish it on their own.
Here are just a few examples of how a mortgage can be paid off early without causing undue financial strain.
Setting Aside Partial Payments
One easy way to pay off your mortgage early and possibly even make your finances easier to handle is to simply put aside a portion of your mortgage payment from each paycheck (or even from every other paycheck, if you get paid weekly.)
If you put aside approximately half of your mortgage payment every other week, you’ll end up saving the equivalent of an extra payment every year.
Setting aside slightly more than half will cause an even greater savings, causing you to pay down your mortgage at an even faster rate.
Depending upon the length of your mortgage term and when you start this savings plan, you can cut months or even years off of your mortgage. All that you have to do is pay whatever you have put aside each time your mortgage comes due (which should cause you to end up with a few payments that are significantly more than the minimum payment.)
Additional Payments at Tax Season
If you don’t like the idea of having to keep track of savings over the course of the year, you might use income tax returns to help you to make up the difference. For many people, the amount that they receive in their tax returns is significantly more than their mortgage payment.
While you may have at least some of your tax money earmarked for specific purchases or to pay off other debts, using part of that money to make the equivalent of an extra mortgage payment once per year can significantly reduce how much you owe.
If you can afford to contribute more than just the amount of one payment or if you use this in conjunction with the savings plan mentioned above you can pay off your mortgage even faster.
Using Interest to Fight Interest
If you have a high-interest savings account, you can use that interest to help you pay off your mortgage ahead of time. Once or twice per year, pull out money from your savings that’s equivalent to part of the interest that you’ve accrued and add it in with your mortgage payment.
Provided that you have a high enough savings balance you should be able to make a significant impact on your mortgage debt by doing this. Over the course of the year the amount that you add to your mortgage payments could potentially equal an entire extra payment or more.
Bi-Weekly Mortgage Services
Should you worry that you can’t keep yourself motivated to keep making these extra payments, you might consider using a bi-weekly mortgage service. T
hese services automatically withdraw one half of your mortgage payment from your checking account every two weeks, and then make your payment for you when it comes due.
The system works similar to the paycheck savings plan mentioned above, but since you have an outside company doing the work for you all that you have to do is make sure that you have the money in your account to cover the withdrawals.
Though the services do charge fees to cover their costs, the amount that you save in interest payments will be significantly more than what you pay to the service.