T. Jay Johnson Jr. - Lamacchia Realty, Inc.



Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 7/12/2019

Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

1. Refinance your mortgage

If youíre considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments youíll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

This option isnít for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees youíll have to pay for upfront. Youíll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

But, youíll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

2. Make extra payments

An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, itís possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

This doesnít seem like much savings in the short term, but letís take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.




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Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 7/14/2017

Before you meet with lenders to refinance your home, thereís certain steps that you should take to make sure that you are ready to refinance and that the entire process will go smoothly. Whether you want to do a renovation or just get a lower interest rate, refinancing can be useful. These tips will be very helpful to you in making an informed decision.  


The Numbers Wonít Lie


Just like when you first purchase a home, youíll need to take a look at your own financial situation to see if refinancing actually makes sense for you. If youíre less than 30 years from retirement, you may want to rethink getting another mortgage that starts from scratch. You can always consider a 15-year mortgage, knowing that your monthly payments will be higher, giving you some breathing room from another 30 years of mortgage payments.  


Know Your Credit Score


You should be checking in on your credit report periodically in order to catch any red flags early. Youíll also know and understand any weak spots in your credit. Youíll have time to eliminate any errors and give your score time to readjust. 

You should also get an idea of where you stand with your credit score. Credit card companies often provide this. Thereís also a few free services that exist to help you obtain your credit score. Knowing this information can be very helpful when youíre looking to refinance a home.


Find Out Your Homeís Value


Lenders want to know that you donít owe more than 80% of what your home is worth. An appraisal will be a part of the refinance process, but before you even start, it will be helpful to know how much you owe versus how much your home is worth. If you owe more than your home is worth, you may want to reconsider doing the kitchen over or going for that lower interest rate. Moving might be a better option financially.  


Get Your Finances Straight


A lender likes to know that youíre in good financial standing before they grant you a loan. Work on paying down your credit card balances and donít max out any cards that you do have. All this can hurt your credit and your chances of obtaining a loan. You can even talk to some lenders beforehand in order to see if refinancing is a good idea. 


Do Your Homework


All lenders are not created equal. You can start with your current lender when it comes to refinancing. Since they want to keep your business, your lender will hopefully have some good deals for you. Youíll need to take some time to compare rates from different companies and find the lowest rates available. If you do your homework, youíll be able to get the best deals and not regret your refinancing decision.




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