Buying a home is one of most Americans’ most significant investments. It can take years to save for a down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses.
Luckily, there are several ways to save money on your mortgage. Here are five of them:
Pay More Upfront
When you pay more upfront on a mortgage, it decreases your monthly payments and the overall amount of interest paid. It also reduces your lender’s risk.
Many lenders will recast your loan (reset the payment schedule) when you repay your principal with a large lump sum repayment. This makes your payments smaller and cuts years off the term of your mortgage.
If you can save up a 20% down payment, you can avoid paying PMI. That could save you hundreds of dollars per month.
Saving for a down payment requires patience, and you may need to reexamine your budget and find other ways to free up cash for this goal. This might include trimming spending, negotiating raises, or taking on a side gig.
One of the main reasons people refinance is to get a lower interest rate. However, mortgage rates vary by borrower and lender, so it is best to shop for the lowest available rates before choosing a company. Getting a lower rate and payment can save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Refinancing with a Mortgage Broker Denver involves trading your current mortgage for a new one with a different interest rate and principal amount. Refinancing can also help you consolidate high-interest debt or pay off your mortgage earlier by shortening the loan term. The financial benefit of refinancing depends on how long you plan to stay in the home and whether the reduced payments offset the cost of the refinance. Calculating your breakeven point can help you determine if it makes sense to refinance your mortgage.
Pay It Off Early
You can save thousands in interest by paying your mortgage loan early. However, it’s essential to consider the impact that this might have on your cash cushion and other financial goals.
Before paying extra toward your mortgage, ensure your other debts are paid off and your savings are set aside for emergencies. You should also check whether your mortgage carries any prepayment penalties that offset the benefit of paying off your loan early.
The best way to save for your down payment is to make a budget. Start by tracking your expenses using a spreadsheet or a free budgeting app, including every coffee, household item, and cash tip. Then, prioritize your spending and cut unnecessary luxuries. The result should be enough money to put toward your down payment.
Make Biweekly Payments
Biweekly payments are one of the easiest ways to shave years off your mortgage and save money. This is especially true if you have a low debt-to-credit ratio, are not paying high-interest credit card balances, and can easily float an extra payment to your lender every two weeks.
The way it works is simple: Instead of making a monthly mortgage payment 12 times yearly, you earn 26 half amounts annually. This will reduce your interest and help you repay the loan faster.
If you want to take this route, be sure your lender or loan servicer is on board with it and applies the biweekly payments correctly (and not just once a month). Avoid using third-party services that charge fees for their service and will only send your money once per month—negating any savings you might have made.
Make Extra Payments
You can make additional principal payments each year if your lender allows it. This will reduce the overall loan term and save you significant amounts in interest. However, you should check your mortgage contract to ensure that extra payments are applied directly to the principal and not toward future monthly payments. Also, before making any additional payments, you should ensure that you have a solid savings cushion and maximize contributions to your 401(k) and other retirement accounts.
Another method of saving money on your mortgage is to make biweekly payments. There are 52 weeks a year, but most mortgage payment plans only ask for one monthly fee every 12 months. Half-weekly costs can create extra yearly income and reduce the loan term.