How to pay off your 30 year mortgage in 15 years.
Paying off your mortgage in half the time is easier than you think. Actually, it’s really quite simple, although this advice is rarely ever given to the public. Every one of my clients who closes on a home with me on a 30 year mortgage loan receives this guidance from me and today I want to share it with you.
Surely the main reason that most home buyers select a 30 year loan over a 15 year term is not because they prefer to pay the mortgage twice as long. They make this choice because of its affordability since a 30 year loan has a much lower monthly payment than a 15 year one. The other reason to choose a 30 year over a 15 year is more flexibility. If you’re committed to a 15 year term with your home loan lender when some unforeseen event occurs where all of a sudden your income drops will mostly likely be stuck making the higher payments. This also means you will be unable to refinance into a 30 year which would lower your payments. However, If you were committed to a 30 year mortgage and make additional principle payments on your own, you can immediately halt the additional principle you’ve been sending to conserve cash.
Let’s take a look at the two different options using a $200,000 mortgage loan as the example. For simplicity sake I’ll leave out real estate taxes and insurance and instead just focus on the principle and interest associated with the two different loans. I’ll also use a typical interest rate in today’s market (summer 2014) for an owner occupant home loan.
A $200,000 loan with a 30 year payback at 4.125% would be $969 per month
A $200,000 loan with a 15 year payback at 3.375% would be $1,418 per month
The simple formula is just this. Every month when you review your mortgage loan statement from your lender, find the amount of the payment that is slated to go towards your principle. Hint: it’s usually the smallest amount of all!
The first monthly payment on your $200,000, 30 year loan at 4.125% will be $969 plus or minus a few cents, and not including taxes and insurance. Of that $969, only $282 will go towards your principle balance. Now while your payment will remain the same for the life of the loan, the amount that goes towards principle and interest will change as your principle balance is reduced.
Add $282 to your payment. You’ve just made 2 months of payments. Do this same thing every month, and your 30 year or 360 month mortgage just became 15 years, or 180 months.
Next payment the very following month –
Now because you made 2 principle payments, one that was required, and one that was your extra, your new principle balance is now $199,436. Your required payment is still $969 but the amount that will now go towards the principle is $283. Only $1.00 more, but at this pace you’ll pay off your 30 year mortgage in 15 years.
Yes, of course as time goes on the additional principle does become more of a burden. Although it will get better down the road. And at that point you’ll have made quite a dent in not only your principle balance, but in the years required to be mortgage free.
5 years or 60 payments made, each including an extra month of principle. Your principle balance will be approximately $160,000 as opposed to $180,000 had you not been making the extra payments. When your principle balance is around $160,000, the required payment is still $969, though $415 +/- is what is going towards principle now. If you’re still committed to a 15 year payoff, your extra principle payment is more than it was in the beginning, but remember; all these principle payments are equity in your home.
Even if you are not able to continue to increase the amount of your extra payment, you’ve dramatically reduced your balance and, your loan will pay off years ahead of schedule saving you thousands of dollars in interest.
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