Paying regular additional payments on your principal balance yields huge returns. Borrowers pay against principal in many different ways. Making one extra full payment once per year is perhaps the easiest to keep track of. If you can't afford to pay an additional whole payment all at once, you can divide your payment by 12 and pay that additional amount monthly. Another very popular option is to pay half of your payment every two weeks. The effect here is that you will make one additional monthly payment each year. These options differ a little in reducing the final payback amount and reducing payback length, but they will all significantly reduce the duration of your mortgage and lower the total interest you will pay over the duration of the loan.
It may not be possible for you to pay down your principal every month or even every year. But you should remember that most mortgages will allow you to make additional principal payments at any time. You can benefit from this provision to pay extra on your mortgage principal when you get some extra money.
If, for example, you were to receive an unexpected windfall three years into your mortgage, investing several thousand dollars into your home's principal can reduce the duration of your loan and save a huge amount on interest over the life of the mortgage loan. Unless the loan is very large, even a few thousand dollars applied early in the loan period can produce huge benefits over the life of the loan.
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