“Should I Make Extra Payments?”

After settling into your own home, you may be wondering how to pay off your mortgage faster – maybe you have some newfound financial flexibility or perhaps you’re looking to pay off a larger chunk of your mortgage before starting a family. Whatever the reasoning behind your questions, Kansas City Credit Union is here to explain why and how you can make mortgage payments on your house.

TWO BIG REASONS TO PAY EXTRA ON YOUR MORTGAGE

Making extra mortgage payments is a smart move for a couple of reasons.

  1. Shorten Your Loan Term – It makes sense that the more you pay, the faster you’ll finish out your loan term. Looking to save money for other upcoming expenses in the future? Paying off the mortgage early is a dream come true for many people who follow our advice.
  2. Save Money on Interest – The second reason paying extra on mortgage payments is attractive is primarily that you will save yourself money in the long run. Since interest accumulates based off your principal loan amount, paying extra towards that principal sum reduces the amount of interest you will pay.

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK

So you want to pay off your mortgage! Great! Check out these affordability calculators to see how much extra you can be paying; try the one by nerdwallet!

Not ready to set down the whole amount kit and caboodle? You can still pay extra on your mortgage without breaking your bank – or your back working to death. Here’s how to do it!

  1. Budgeting is Your Best Friend – Not only will appropriate budgeting save you from spending excessively in other areas, but it will also help you understand how much you can afford to put into your extra mortgage payments without unnecessary financial stress.
  2. Pay with Caution – Whenever you pay extra, be absolutely sure you are putting that extra money towards your principal loan amount and NOT towards your next due payment. The goal is not to “get ahead” on payments but to make your regular payments as well as reducing the total amount you will pay interest on.
  3. Consider Alternative Payments – We don’t mean bartering; we’re fairly certain that your bank or lender will unfortunately not take a goat or some eggs as an acceptable mortgage payment. What this does mean is to make “double” payments on your mortgage. Can’t afford that much extra each month? Consider paying 1/12 extra so that by the time a year has gone by you’ll have made 13 payments instead of 12. Or add extra dollars to each month’s usual payment. If you receive an inheritance, prize, or other lump sum of money, it’s worth it to put apply some of that (or all if applicable) to your mortgage principal.

PRECAUTIONS

Of course paying off your mortgage early sounds amazing and Kansas City Credit Union can definitely help advise you in achieving that dream. However, keep in mind a few precautions when making plans to pay off your mortgage early:

  1. Guard Your Credit – Don’t sacrifice every last penny you have towards mortgage payments and neglect other financial concerns like your credit card, a savings deposit, or health insurance. Regular mortgage payments can certainly boost your credit but not if you’re drowning in credit card debt. Consistency is key.
  2. Pay Off Higher Interest Debts first – If you owe money on other areas, put extra money towards those first before paying extra towards your mortgage. For example, if you have credit card debt at 15% and a mortgage interest of 4% – use your extra money to pay off credit card debt first, then your mortgage.

Whatever your concerns, paying off your mortgage is feasible and KCCU is here to make it as easy as possible! Contact us today for more information!