Mortgage freedom – it’s something most families dream of in their 60’s right before retirement, but not everyone follows conventional wisdom. A young man from Toronto most recently grabbed news headlines by paying down his mortgage in three years by 30. While some people applaud his efforts, others have badmouthed his accomplishment.
While paying off your in three years by 30 isn’t realistic for many people, there can be lessons learned from Sean Cooper’s story. While you may not be able to pay off your mortgage in three years, you can take steps to pay off your mortgage a lot sooner, perhaps in 15 or 20 years. Here are five ways to pay down your mortgage faster and celebrate your mortgage burning party sooner.
1. Pay Your Mortgage Weekly or Biweekly
Paying your mortgage weekly or biweekly instead of monthly can save you thousands in interest over the life of your mortgage. You can pay the same amount without hurting for your short-term cash flow. For example, instead of paying $3,200 per month, pay $1,600 biweekly or $800 weekly. Since you’re paying you mortgage more often, you’ll save a boatload of interest.
2. Make Lump Sum Payments With Found Money
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your money, if you want to reach mortgage freedom sooner, it’s important to make paying it down a priority. Found money comes in all different shapes and sizes, including a bonus at work, cash gifts and tax refunds. Most closed mortgages let you make lump sum payments during the year up to a certain amount (typically a 10 or 15 percent of your mortgage balance). Best of all that money goes straight towards principal, saving you thousands in interest and shaving years off your mortgage.
3. Round Up Your Mortgage Payments
Instead of paying $785 per week towards your mortgage, why not pay $800 a week? You’ll barely notice the extra $15, while the money will go straight towards principal to help you pay down your mortgage sooner.
4. Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
When you get a raise at work, do you save or spend the extra money? Although there’s nothing wrong with spending some of your newfound money, it’s also important to increase your savings. If you get a three percent raise at work, increase your mortgage payment by three percent. For example, if you’re paying $800 a week, start paying $824 per week (you can even round that up to $825 or $850 to make an even bigger difference).
5. Shop the Markets
While your local bank branch is a good first stop for a mortgage, it shouldn’t be your last stop. Take the time to shop the market with a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker isn’t tied to any one lender. He or she can look around for the best mortgage for you. Even if you end up going with your bank, you’ll be able to do so with the peace of mind knowing you got the best deal.
Need help finding a mortgage that’s right for you? Contact our office today, we’ll make sure to assess your needs and help you get the right mortgage.