Paying off your mortgage early can save you money on interest over time. It will also allow you to eliminate a big monthly payment, giving you a lot more freedom once you’ve gotten rid of that expense.
It can be a challenge, though, especially since a mortgage is a big debt. But there are a few approaches you could take to bring your mortgage loan balance down to $0 faster. Here are three of them.
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1. Make biweekly payments
One of the easiest ways to pay your mortgage off faster is to make biweekly payments. See, mortgage payments are due once per month, but many people get paychecks every two weeks. Instead of making one monthly mortgage payment, you can divide your payment in half and pay that amount on each payday.
This technique works because if you get paid twice a month, you get 26 paychecks in a year. So if you pay your mortgage around the time of each check, you’ll end up making 13 payments a year — instead of the 12 you’d make if you paid your loan just once per month. That extra mortgage payment you make each year will bring down your loan balance and cut time off your payoff schedule.
Some lenders have programs that let you make biweekly payments, so see if yours does. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to transfer the money into a bank account each payday and then just make one regular monthly payment but include the extra cash in it. That’s because your lender may not accept two payments a month if it isn’t set up for that.
2. Put windfalls toward your mortgage
Another great way to pay off your mortgage early is to make an extra payment toward principal (the original amount of your loan) if you get your hands on money you don’t have earmarked for something else. For example, you could use a tax refund, a government stimulus check, cash gifts you receive for your birthday, or a bonus from your job.
When you make these lump sum payments on top of your regular mortgage payment, you can put the entire amount toward paying off your loan balance. (None of the money needs to go to interest, unlike when you make your regular monthly payments.) This can significantly speed up the time it takes to pay down debt — especially if you make lump sum payments on a regular basis.
Finally, you could opt to increase each mortgage payment you make by a set amount, such as paying in an extra $100 or $200 with each payment you make. Again, this added money can go toward reducing the principal to accelerate your payoff timeline.
The best approach for you will depend on your goals, how often you are paid, and what your mortgage lender allows. And if you really want to pay off your mortgage ASAP, then you may decide you want to use all three of these techniques.
By paying twice a month, adding a little bit to each payment, or making a lump sum extra payment whenever you can, you should be able to pay off your loan well ahead of schedule — and send a lot less interest to your lender over time.