Making consistent additional payments on the loan principal will yield big returns. People employ various techniques to meet this goal. Making one extra full payment one time a year is probably the simplest to arrange. If you can't afford to pay an additional whole payment all at once, you can divide that payment by 12 and write a check for that additional amount monthly. Another popular option is to pay a half payment every other week. The result is you make one additional monthly payment each year. Each of these options produces slightly different results, but each will significantly reduce the length of your mortgage and lower your total interest paid.
It may not be possible for you to pay extra every month or even every year. But it's important to note that most mortgage contracts will allow additional payments at any time. You can benefit from this rule to pay down your mortgage principal when you get some extra money. If, for example, you were to receive an unexpected windfall four years into your mortgage, you could pay a portion of this money toward your loan principal, which would result in enormous savings and a shorter payback period. Unless the loan is quite large, even modest amounts applied early in the loan period can yield huge benefits over the life of the loan.
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