There's a simple trick to significantly reduce the length of your mortgage and save you thousands over the course of your loan: Make additional payments that go to your principal. You can do this using a few different techniques. Making 1 extra payment once every year is probably the easiest to keep track of. If you can't pay an extra whole payment in one month, you can split that large amount into 12 smaller payments and pay that additional amount monthly. Another option is to pay a half payment every other week. The effect here is that you will make one extra monthly payment each year. Each of these options yields different results, but each will significantly reduce the length of your mortgage and lower the total interest you will pay over the duration of the loan.
It may not be possible for you to pay more every month or even every year. But it's important to note that most mortgage contracts allow you to make additional payments at any time. You can take advantage of this provision to pay down your mortgage principal any time you get some extra money.
If, for example, you receive a very large gift or tax refund five years into your mortgage, investing several thousand dollars into your home's principal can reduce the period of your loan and save enormously on interest paid over the life of the mortgage loan. Unless the mortgage loan is very large, even a few thousand dollars applied early in the loan period can produce huge savings over the life of the loan.
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