Paying consistent extra payments toward the principal will yield enormous savings. People use different methods to meet this goal. Making 1 additional payment one time a year is likely the easiest to keep track of. Of course, some people can't swing such an enormous additional payment, so dividing an extra payment into 12 additional monthly payments is a great option too. Finally, you can pay a half payment every other week. Each of these options produces slightly different results, but they will all significantly shorten the duration of your mortgage and lower the total interest you will pay over the life of the loan.
Some people can't manage any extra payments. But you should remember that most mortgages allow you to make additional principal payments at any time. You can take advantage of this provision to pay extra on your principal any time you get some extra money. If, for example, you receive a very large gift or tax refund four years into your mortgage, investing a few thousand dollars into your home's principal will shorten the period of your loan and save a huge amount on mortgage interest over the duration of the loan. Unless the mortgage loan is quite large, even modest amounts applied early in the loan period can yield huge savings over the duration of the loan.
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