1 Simple Strategy to Shave 4 Years off a Mortgage

By Nathan Hamilton Markets Fool.com

Money-saving tips and tricks can be your bank account's best friend, especially when it comes to a homeowner's biggest expense each month.

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In the video segment below, Motley Fool analysts Kristine Harjes and Nathan Hamilton talk about one straightforward strategy every homeowner can use to pay down a mortgage faster.

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Kristine Harjes: It's a well-known fact that the faster you can pay off your mortgage, the better. But how exactly can you do that? Today we wanted to share one simple strategy to shave four years off of your mortgage.

Nathan Hamilton: Yep. Essentially looking at the strategy, it's fairly simple and straightforward: Make your payments biweekly. If you've got a $2,000 mortgage payment each month, pay $1,000 every two weeks. What happens is, it's a way to trick your brain into making an additional payment throughout the year, because normally you'd make 12 payments -- but if you break it up, 52 divided by 2 is 26, divided by 2 again, you got 13 monthly payments that you'd be making.

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Harjes: Right, so instead of making what would be effectively 24 bi- or semi-monthly payments, if you do the biweekly, you end up getting that whole extra thirteenth month worth of payment throughout the year.

Hamilton: Yeah, and essentially if you look at the numbers of how you can shave four years off a mortgage, in our specific example: So we're using a 30-year fixed mortgage. Right now, mortgage rates are around 4.3% for average credit and better. That's a mortgage of $309,000, which is the average new mortgage amount. If you work it out, the numbers say 51.7 months, which is rounding, four years, 4.25 years.

Harjes: Which is pretty incredible. I mean, this is a fairly simple mental trick you can play on yourself, and wind up pretty easily shaving off more than four years from your mortgage.

Hamilton: Yeah. I know from my mortgage, I'm going to be doing that same exact plan because it does work. It is an easy way to get your mortgage paid down faster.

Harjes: Yep. It's a great tip. For more information like this, you can check out fool.com/mortgages to get started finding a low rate, and you can get access to highly rated lenders. You can also receive our free guide, "Five Tips to Increase Your Credit Score Over 800."

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