Paying regular extra payments toward the principal balance will yield big returns. Borrowers pay extra in a few ways. For many people, the easiest way to keep track is to make 1 extra mortgage payment every year. If you can't pay an extra whole payment all at once, you can split that large amount into 12 smaller payments and pay that additional amount monthly. Another popular option is to pay half of your payment every two weeks. The result is you will make one additional monthly payment in a year. These options differ a little in lowering the final payback amount and shortening payback length, but each will significantly reduce the duration of your mortgage and lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan.
Some borrowers can't manage any extra payments. But you should remember that most mortgages will allow additional principal payments at any time. You can take advantage of this rule to pay down your principal when you get some extra money. Here's an example: five years after moving into your home, you get a very large tax refund, a very large inheritance, or a cash gift; you could apply a portion of this windfall toward your mortgage loan principal, resulting in huge savings and a shortened payback period. Unless the loan is quite large, even a few thousand dollars applied early in the loan period can produce huge benefits over the duration of the loan.
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