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How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster Than You Thought Possible

For some reason, most of the marketing behind home ownership leads you to believe that you should be paying off your home for the next 20-30 years. People even have ‘mortgage-burning parties’, where they (symbolically or actually) burn their mortgage documents at the same time that they retire.

If it sounds crazy to take over 20 years to pay for something, don’t worry, it’s absolutely possible to pay off your home faster.

Interest Rates Are Important

A lot of people assume if you’ve been dealing with a bank for most of your life that they will be the best option for getting your mortgage. This is not always the case and it’s imperative that you shop around. Even a 0.05% difference on the interest rate will mean thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

Websites like http://mortgagerates.ca are fantastic for comparing lenders (even those you’ve never heard of) and making sure you’re getting the best rate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your bank. If you prefer to keep your accounts in the same place, at least explain to your rep at the bank that you have better options and ask if they can match them.

Your Mortgage – Pre-payment Options

Interest rates aren’t the only consideration for your mortgage. If you want to pay this off aggressively you’re going to need some pre-payment options. There are typically two ways you can pay down your home faster.

  • Monthly payment options – most mortgage lenders allow you to modify the amount you’re paying every month. This is usually listed as a percentage of your payment. For example, if a lender allows you to bump up your payment by 25% and your current payment is $1,000 a month, you’ll be allowed to increase that to $1,250. You can get mortgages that allow up to a full 100% increase.
  • Lump-sum payments – You should also have the option to contribute lump-sum payments whenever you want. These are great for things like tax refunds, bonus cheques, and other found money. These are typically offered again as a percentage, this time of your total mortgage amount, and range from 10% to 25%. So if you owe $300,000 on your mortgage, you’d be able to contribute up to $75,000 a year (at 25%) on top of your regular payments.

Finding The Money

You might be laughing at the idea of having an EXTRA $75,000 a year kicking around, and yes, it’s probably not going to be that much. What it does is give you options.

If you really decide to get serious about paying off your home, it’s time to prioritize. Remember that every dollar you put towards it now will save you all of that compounding interest in the future, so the time to make the most sacrifices is right now.

Make cuts wherever you can. Use an online mortgage payment calculator to calculate how much every extra payment will save you in the long run – this will keep you motivated.

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January 9, 2013 um 4:52 am
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