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How to Pay Down Your Mortgage Faster

Feb 12, 2019 - Posted by: Rocky Mountain Credit Union

When it comes to buying a house, the time commitment can seem overwhelming. It’s hard to imagine where your life will be in 15—or even 30—years when you’ve finally paid off your mortgage. But the good news is that there are plenty of tried and true ways to pay off that loan a whole lot faster, leaving you with a great investment property and lower monthly bills, so you can do more with your money. Give one of these (or all of them!) a try, and see how you can make a big difference in paying off your mortgage!

Switch To a Bi-Weekly Payment Schedule Instead of Monthly 

Most people who are paid every other week know the benefits of a month coming along that offers three paydays instead of two, just with the luck of how the calendar happens to fall. The same happy logic applies to mortgage payments. Instead of making one monthly payment of $1000, for example, pay $500 every other week. Since there are 52 weeks per year, that means you’re paying an extra $1000—a full payment extra—every year. That can pay off big, bringing your total interest cost down and letting you pay off your loan potentially years earlier, without having to scrimp and pinch. 

Make Extra Payments on Your Principle

Many lenders will let you make extra monthly payments on top of your mortgage payment that are specifically designated for the principal, rather than the interest and principal combined. This doesn’t have to be a lot on top of your regular payment—even $50 a month can add up fast, significantly reducing your interest if you keep it up over time. 

Take Any Extra Money and Put It Toward Your Mortgage

Here, we’re talking scouring the couch cushions, making a little money from an Etsy shop or other side hustle, a tax return, or a gift or inheritance. Take any unexpected extra money that comes into your life, and put it toward making additional payments. Sure, the short-term appeal of blowing that money on something else is tempting, but you’ll be so excited when you manage to pay off that loan years earlier. 

Refinance to a Shorter Term Mortgage 

If you feel like you’re locked into a 30-year mortgage with no end in sight, consider refinancing to a shorter-term loan. Getting down to a 15-year, or even 20-year loan can drastically reduce your interest payments in the long-term. Even if refinancing isn’t a good option for you, you can pretend that you refinanced, and increase your payments a little each month. This will have a similar impact in the long term.  

Make Small Sacrifices to Put Extra Money Toward Your Payments

If it means taking a bag lunch to work or cutting down to three lattes a week instead of five, won’t it be worth it to put more cold, hard cash toward your mortgage payments? You don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle, but cut down a little here and there to save a few extra dollars, and those mini-additions can make a big difference.

Add In an Extra Payment Each Quarter

Save a bit more money over the course of three months, and make a full extra payment each quarter. That way you won’t have to make too many sacrifices in your budget—only saving an extra third of your mortgage payment each month—but you’ll still be able to put a big chunk of change toward reducing what you owe. 

To find out more about how to make the most of  your mortgage, give a member of RMCU's knowledgeable loan team a call. Or, download our Mortgage Programs Guide to find out what mortgage program will be best for you! 

Get the Mortgage Programs Guide

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