Small extra payments on your mortgage do make a difference. Mortgage debt carries the most amount of stress for most families. So, why is it that most people do not invest every cent they have into their mortgage. It is a sin to pay off your 25 year mortgage in 25 years. There is a better way!
Let’s look at a “typical” mortgage. Without any scientific basis, If I would guess, the average mortgage is $235,000 and the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate is 3.42%.
So, let’s use those numbers. We’ll look at a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3.42% that borrows $235,000. Under those conditions, a person will be paying $1,044.79 per month for the next 360 months. That’s assuming they make the minimum payments on that mortgage over the entire term. They end up paying a total of $141,123.93 in interest over the course of the loan. Now, what if a person adds just $1 as an extra payment each month for the entire loan? Each month, they pay $1,045.79. What changes? Well, the final payment drops to $419.19. By putting in just $1 extra each payment – a total of $359 – you save $626.60 on that last payment.
What if a person adds just $5 as an extra payment each month for the entire loan? Each month, the total payment is $1,049.79. What does that look like? In that case, you don’t even need to make your last two payments, and the payment before that is only $25.20. Over the course of the loan, you pay in $1,785 extra, but you end up with $3,109.17 in payments you don’t have to make at the end of the loan.
What’s happening here is that every dollar you pay extra on your mortgage effectively “earns” interest at a rate equal to your mortgage interest rate for the rest of your mortgage. So, if you pay $1 extra on that first payment, your dollar will earn a 3.42% return tax free over the next twenty nine years and twelve months.
Could you do better than that with your dollar? That’s a better return than your savings account will give you right now. It’s better than inflation right now, which is below 3% by most calculations. It’s probably not as good as the return you’d get in the stock market over that period, but the stock market also causes risk and it also has tax implications.
The question you really have to ask yourself is will you miss that extra dollar or that extra five dollars? What would you do with it that would really make an impact in your life? If you don’t have a productive use for that money, it makes sense to simply add it to your mortgage payment. It earns a steady and safe return over the long haul. It doesn’t take much to add up to a big difference as long as you keep doing that little thing regularly. Little Does indeed go a long way
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