Paying consistent additional payments toward the loan principal provides big returns. You pay extra on principal in various ways. Making a single extra payment once a year may be the simplest to arrange. Of course, many folks can't afford this huge extra expense, so splitting an additional payment into twelve extra monthly payments works as well. Finally, you can pay half of your mortgage payment every other week. These options differ a little in lowering the total interest paid and reducing payback length, but each will significantly reduce the length of your mortgage and lower the total interest paid over the duration of the loan.
It may not be possible for you to pay more every month or even every year. Keep in mind that most mortgage contracts will allow you to make additional payments to your principal at any point during repayment. You can take advantage of this rule to pay down your principal when you get some extra money. If, for example, you receive a surprise windfall five years into your mortgage, you could apply this windfall toward your mortgage loan principal, which would result in enormous savings and a shortened payback period. Unless the mortgage loan is very large, even a few thousand dollars applied early in the loan period can yield huge savings over the duration of the loan.
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