Paying consistent extra payments on the principal balance provides big returns. Borrowers pay more on principal in various ways. Making a single additional full payment once every year may be the simplest to track. If you can't afford to pay an additional whole payment in one month, 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 other week. The effect here is that you make one additional monthly payment every year. Each of these options produces different results, but each will significantly shorten the duration of your mortgage and lower your total interest paid.
It may not be possible for you to pay extra every month or even every year. But you should remember that most mortgages allow you to make additional payments at any time. Any time you get some extra cash, you can use this rule to make an additional one-time payment on principal. If, for example, you receive an unexpected windfall four years into your mortgage, you could apply a portion of this windfall toward your mortgage loan principal, which would result in huge savings and a shortened loan period. For most loans, even a relatively small amount, paid early enough in the mortgage, could offer big savings in interest and duration of the loan.
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