When we built our home over 10 years ago we had no plans of becoming an oddball family. We expected to take out a 30-year mortgage and pay back the debt on schedule. It was our aim to become mortgage free in our 50’s. That sounds about normal, right?
But, something amazing happened.
We signed on the mortgage and immediately a feeling of indebtedness began to sink into our bones. It was only a matter of weeks before we began planning how we’d tackle the mountain of debt that we’d gleefully acquired. It was only a matter of weeks before we began planning how we'd tackle the mountain of debt that we'd gleefully acquired. Click To Tweet
Within months, we were paying an extra $20 towards the mortgage principle.
After a year of mortgage payments that small amount increased and we added an additional yearly prepayment. Each year when we’d hold our annual budget meeting we examined our finances. Paying off the mortgage was our primary concern. Whenever our income increased we’d consider adding a portion of the increase to paying down our debt.
The Mortgage; A Weight on Our Shoulders
The house debt felt like a weight on our shoulders. It was awesome to have a beautiful home where we could comfortably raise a family. But, we couldn’t wait to own our home free and clear.
Today we’re making progress faster than ever, with a goal of saying “Goodbye!!” to Wells Fargo by December 31st of 2018.
We refinanced to a 15-year mortgage in March 2013. Our loan balance at this time was $148,457.54. If we hadn’t paid extra on our mortgage, we would have expected to pay off the balance by March of 2028.
With a plan to demolish our mortgage debt by December 31, 2018, we expect to reduce our term by nearly 10 years. We’ll also be saving over $20,000 on interest payments!
That’s in addition to freeing up our income 10 years in advance. Oh boy, I’m jazzed!
3 Tips for Paying off Your Mortgage Early
1. Pay more. Simple, huh? Throw everything that you can at the mortgage: tax returns, pay raises, bonuses, eBay proceeds.
2. Refinance. Rates are still at historical lows. If you can get a better rate, it may be worth your while to refinance and throw the payment difference back onto the mortgage. That’s exactly what we did when we refinanced in 2013.
3. Ditch your PMI. Private mortgage insurance adds approximately $100 per $100k of financing. If have 20% or more equity in your property it’s worth calling your mortgage company to discuss dropping PMI. These savings can then be fed back into paying off the mortgage principle.
What are your secrets for successfully paying off debt?