Lauren Bunting Broker MD & DE

3 Tips To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Thursday, March 31, 2022, Lauren Bunting

You know the old tune by Tennessee Ernie Ford: You load sixteen tons, what do you get; Another day older and deeper in debt; Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go; I owe my soul to the company store. Having a mortgage is a fact of life for many, with the final payment being too far in the future to even fathom—but there are ways to make that day come sooner.

Tip #1: Just pay moreSounds like an easy concept—and it is. It doesn’t always have to be a lot either. For example, just rounding up a payment from $644 to $650 can help. The extra $6 a month on a $200,000, 30-year loan can save you four payments at the end of your loan. Just be sure your mortgage company is applying the extra payment towards principal.

Tip #2: Refinance with a shorter termShortening your mortgage term from a 30-year to a 20 or 15-year mortgage is a great way to pay off your mortgage faster. By switching to a shorter term, you can get a lower interest rate, which helps to offset the increased monthly payment. For example, on a $200,000 loan, if your rate for a 30-year fixed loan is 4.875%, but for a 15-year fixed, the rate is 4.125%, the 30 year mortgage equals $1058 a month for principal and interest, and the 15 year mortgage was $1491, or a difference in price of $433 more per month to pay cut your loan repayment term in half. 

But, if refinancing is not an option for you right now, you can decide how much more you can afford per month and calculate what effect this will have on your repayment term. For example, if you have a $200,000 30-year mortgage at 4.875%, adding an additional $200 a month towards principal will shave 9 years, 3 months off your total number of payments. Most mortgage companies offer automatic drafts where you can designate a specific amount in addition to your regular payment to be applied towards principal. 

Tip #3: Switch to bi-weekly paymentsThis is a great option when your pay schedule is also bi-weekly. By making this simple change in when you pay your mortgage, you end up making a 13th mortgage payment during each calendar year. This change alone can chop off almost 6 years from a 30-year mortgage.

Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva in Ocean City, Maryland.

Lauren Bunting is a Broker with Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva in Ocean City, Maryland.

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