So, you want to pay off your mortgage early. By doing so, you’ll be able to save on interest, build equity faster, AND potentially shave years off your payment schedule. And though it might sound daunting, there are some pretty simple ways you can accomplish it.
Check out these three options!
1. Refinance to a shorter-term mortgage
Makes sense, right? If you have a 30-year mortgage, you can refinance to 15 or 20 years and pay it off faster.
There are two upsides to this. The first is like we just said. The sooner you pay back your loan, the less money you spend on interest. The second is, mortgages with shorter terms usually have lower rates than longer ones. The lower your interest rate, the less you pay, too. Awesome!
Tip: Check today’s rates on 15-year versus 30-year mortgages by visiting our refinance interest savings calculator page.
Now some important notes. One, these refinances typically come with higher minimum payments. You’ll likely have to pay more every month, but again, you’ll benefit from interest savings over the life of the loan. And two, you’ll have to pay closing costs for the refinance.
Want to dig a little deeper? Read our post on refinancing from 30 to 15 years.
2. Pay a little more each month (or when you can)
Don’t like the sound of refinancing right now? Fear not! You’ve got choices to pay off your mortgage early. The simplest way is to just pay more when you can. Here, there’s no paperwork or closing costs. And you’ll still save money because you’re paying back the loan faster.
Before you do, check that there is no prepayment penalty. You don’t want to be charged for paying back the loan early. (FYI: At ditech, there’s no prepayment penalty on conventional loans.) Also find out how to apply the payments to the principal – that is, to the money you borrowed and not the interest you’re paying to borrow it. Check your statements to make sure they’re right.
Don’t worry if you can’t pay that much. A little more every month can make a big difference. And the more years you have left on your mortgage, the bigger difference it makes. Many people pay $100 extra every month. Some people make 13 payments a year instead of 12. And others make biweekly payments instead of one payment each month. Find something that works for you.
3. Did you get a windfall of cash? Make one big payment
Sometimes you come into a nice little pile of money. Did you get a tax refund? Or a bonus from work? Maybe you got a gift or an inheritance from a family member.
You can make one big payment once just like you can make a lot of little payments. They both save you money. Once again, check that there’s no prepayment penalty, make sure the money goes to paying down the principal, and look at your statement to confirm everything is right.
Bonus tips! Your last mortgage payment … and beyond
When that golden moment comes, and you are ready to make your last payment, there are a couple things you need to know. We tell you how to make your final payment here.
There are also some things you’ll want to do after your last payment. Read our post on life after mortgage payments to find out what they are.
Ditech is not a financial advisor and the ideas outlined above are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as investment or financial advice and should not be construed as such. Consult a financial advisor before making decisions regarding important personal financial matters, and consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and tax implications.