Your home mortgage is often the largest debt most people have. In order to buy a home, taking out a mortgage is necessary, but have you thought about a mortgage debt reduction plan to pay it off quickly?
Mortgage debt reduction needs to be a long term goal, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, there are several simple ways to reduce your mortgage quickly and cut down the loan term dramatically. You have the option of using one or a combination of any of the tips mentioned below as part of your mortgage debt reduction strategy.
1) Payment Frequency
When a bank calculates your mortgage repayments, they use a calculation known as ‘amortization’. This allows them to work out how much you need to pay each month so that a portion of your payment goes towards paying down your balance and the other portion of your payment is interest charged on your balance owing. They tell you how much you need to pay in monthly instalments to pay off your loan over the exact loan term written on your mortgage contract.
However, if you’re paid bi-weekly or even weekly, you are able to adjust your repayments to the same frequency for which you get paid. This not only makes budgeting much easier to pay a smaller portion each pay period, but it can also cut years off your loan term and save you thousands in interest.
Call your lender and ask them if you can adjust your payment frequency to bi-weekly, but be absolutely certain you work out your own calculation amounts before you call.
2) Bi-Weekly Calculations
Find out exactly how much your minimum monthly payment will be and then divide it by two if you’re paid bi-weekly. If you’re paid weekly, then divide your monthly payment by four. Don’t use any fancy calculations or try to figure out how many weeks in a year and then divide by how many fortnights. This won’t work. Simply divide your minimum monthly repayment by two for bi-weekly or divide by four if you’re paid weekly. Write this figure down. It’s your new minimum repayment. You’ll pay this new amount every time you’re paid.
3) More than Minimum
Once you have your new bi-weekly minimum repayment worked out, round this figure up to the nearest $5. For example, if your payment comes to $423.24, then round this up to $425. This small amount won’t break your budget and you’ll find it easier to remember how much you need to pay.
Rounding up your repayments seems like such a small amount of money, yet it can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest and reduce your loan term dramatically.
4) Lump Sum Reductions
Lenders calculate your interest repayments based on the balance you owe at the end of every day. Then they add up how much interest has accumulated and show you one simple figure at the end of the month. By making more regular payments, such as weekly or bi-weekly payments, and then rounding up those amounts, you’re reducing the amount you owe on a more regular basis. This reduces the amount of interest the bank can charge you.
If you receive a pay raise or a tax refund or a bonus or if you earn some extra cash from a yard sale, pay it as a lump sum payment off your mortgage. This reduces your outstanding balance and lowers the amount of interest you’ll be charged. Mortgage debt reduction really is as simple as finding a plan and sticking to it.
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