Investments – Mortgage

Perhaps interest rates have increased since purchasing your house. In that case, you will not be able to save anything on this item.

However, another home mortgage matter whether to pay off your mortgage early or not. The main thing to consider if you are thinking about doing this is whether you need that interest payment which is a major tax deduction in order to keep from paying higher income taxes. That is, for most average families, that home mortgage interest deduction is your major deduction unless you have business deductions. If this is the case, you might want to pay your mortgage off early but not too early. For the usual 30 year mortgage, rather than concentrate on paying it off in the next 5 or 10 years which would put a very heavy burden on you financially, you might want to concentrate on paying it off in 20 years instead of 30 years. If you can pay just a small additional amount each month, you can end up taking a year or more off of the length of your mortgage.

One reason for deciding to pay off your mortgage early is to avoid being caught in the situation of wanting or having to sell your house but owing more on it then you can get for it. Therefore, you can’t sell it right now because you would still be paying off the extra amount. But you still want to move so you need to work at getting the remaining mortgage down below what your house is worth on the current market. If you will need to move to different locations throughout the next 30 years, it is a good idea to try to pay something extra on your monthly mortgage in order to pay it down.

If you still want to pay off your entire mortgage in 5 or 10 years, you will need to pay an additional payment each month. Paying two payments a month will cut your 30 year mortgage down to approximately 10-12 years. However, will this help you? That is, what happens in 12 years when you no longer have your mortgage interest payments to declare on your income taxes and thus have higher taxes to pay the government? If, at that point, you will be retired, you should be in a lower tax bracket and may not need the added deduction of mortgage interest. However, if by then you are in a higher tax bracket (usually our careers and pay checks advance as we get older), you may need that extra deduction even more then you do now.

If you want to pay your mortgage off early but not quite so quickly, say in 25 years, just pay an additional amount onto the equity each month. If your mortgage payment is $1,198 per month, you could write a check for $1,225 each month remembering to list on the payment slip the additional equity amount you are paying. This is a particularly good method for someone who is older and is buying a home. If you are 35 years old, you will be paying on your mortgage until you are 65. What about saving for retirement? In this case, it might be better to pay it off even a couple of years early so you will have less expense when you retire.

However, if you are reading this article in order to cut back on your expenses today, refinancing at a lower rate of interest is the only viable option (also see the section on increasing your income for ways to use your mortgage to your advantage). If you cannot refinance at this time, you need to look at changing your life style, hopefully for the better, by selling your house (if its current market value is more then you still owe on it) and moving into an apartment.