There's a trick to significantly reduce the length of your mortgage and save thousands in interest: Make additional payments that are applied toward your loan principal. Borrowers use different methods to meet this goal. Making one extra payment one time every year may be the simplest to track. Of course, some folks won't be able to swing such a large additional expense, so dividing one extra payment into twelve extra monthly payments works too. Finally, you can pay a half payment every two weeks. These options differ a little in reducing the total interest paid and shortening payback length, but they will all significantly shorten the duration of your mortgage and lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan.
Some folks just can't make extra payments. But you should remember that most mortgages will allow you to make additional payments at any time. You can benefit from this rule to pay extra on your principal any time you come into extra money. If, for example, you were to receive a very large gift or tax refund five years into your mortgage, you could apply a portion of this money toward your loan principal, which would result in enormous savings and a shortened loan period. For most loans, even this small amount, paid early in the loan period, could offer huge savings in interest and in the length of the loan.
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