While owning your own home can be very rewarding, the thought of 30 years of mortgage payments is daunting to say the least. If you have extra cash now, you might want to put it toward paying off that mortgage more quickly. Depending on how much extra you put toward the principal, you can reduce the length of your mortgage considerably. In some cases you might be able to cut your mortgage term in half, essentially turning a 30-year loan into a 15-year one.
Contact the lender who holds your mortgage and ask about any special instructions or procedures for making an extra principal payment. You might need to mark the check in a certain way, or submit a form with the extra payment. Checking with the lender ahead of time is the best way to ensure you get proper credit for each payment you make.
Make an extra principal payment whenever you can, or set up a regular schedule of additional payments. If you can afford to make two mortgage payments a month you can pay off your 30-year mortgage in 15 years. But even if you cannot afford to double your monthly payment, you can shorten the length of the loan by making extra payments whenever you can.
Keep copies of all your mortgage payments, both the regular payments and the extra principal payments. Check the payment information you receive from your lender and double-check it against your records. Contact the lender immediately if you find any discrepancies.
- Treat outside offers of help with skepticism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a press release warning homeowners to be on the lookout for scam artists who offer to make additional principal payments on their behalf but do little more than take off with the money they are given.
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