Saturday, January 19, 2008

Your Tax Refund Check Can Help Shave Your Mortgage in Half

Many people who get refund checks are wondering how they will be spending their extra money this year. But if you play your cards right, you could be shaving years off of your mortgage - and save thousands in the long run.

Whether you are locked into an ARM or a fixed rate mortgage, you can still greatly benefit from this debt-diminishing payment method. They key is to come up with an extra mortgage payment each year, which in turn will shave the life of the mortgage by up to half. Just think, by making one extra payment per year, you can turn a 30-year mortgage into a 15 year mortgage, saving you tens of thousands of dollars in the end.

There are several ways to pull this off, even if you are on a tight budget. Lets say that your mortgage payments are $1200 per month: You can either split that one-time-per-year payment into monthly installments that you regulate yourself, or you can pay a lump sum each year on the principle only using holiday bonuses from work, or using your annual tax refund check. Either way, your extra payment will go towards just the principle, rather than the typical payments, which are nearly all interest payments.

For some interesting figures that may help you decide how much you can afford, how much time you'll save, estimate your expected pay-off date, and the total amount you'll pay over the life of your loan, check out this mortgage calculator!