For years, many aggressive investors have advised maintaining mortgage debt and dedicating your extra cash to investments that have a potentially higher return than merely saving interest on your mortgage. More conservative financial experts opine that paying off a mortgage early, even as quickly as in 10 years, lifts a financial burden as well as a psychological burden, allowing you more time to save for other monetary goals such as retirement, college funds, a sabbatical or purchasing additional real estate.
Study current mortgage offerings. If you are applying for a new mortgage, you can opt for a 15- or 30-year mortgage, but pay it off as rapidly as you wish. In general, a shorter mortgage term means you have access to more competitive interest rates.
Run the numbers. You do not need to refinance, apply for a new mortgage or use one of the bank sponsored biweekly mortgage payoff plans, all of which involve paying unnecessary fees. Instead, plug your current mortgage statistics into a prepayment calculator. The calculator will generate a monthly payment figure that makes you able to pay off your mortgage in ten years.
Check your math. Potential errors can arise in doing this quick formulations. For example, some people have property taxes, private mortgage insurance or other types of insurance rolled into their mortgage payment. Exclude these quantities when figuring out your extra payment.
Transfer the funds for extra mortgage payments. You may be pleasantly surprised at how little extra you need to pay, given that your additional money applies to principle only rather than interest, dramatically reducing your loan. Set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck or savings account.
Automate the process if you wish. If you lack the discipline to make extra payments toward your loan principle, you can attempt another strategy. Get a low-interest mortgage accelerator loan, a type of home equity loan. Deposit your entire income into this account, use if for expenses, and the remaining balance automatically applies toward your mortgage.
- Check your mortgage to ensure you do not have a prepayment penalty.
- Examine the terms of mortgage accelerator loans to make sure they have no hidden fees or penalties.
Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.