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Bi-weekly Payments

There are a lot of companies out there that say they will save you lots of money by arranging bi-weekly mortgage payments. They tell you that by paying an enrollment fee and then making a monthly handling payment that they will do the rest, and they will, but why let them?

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If you are already paying in on a mortgage, making car payments, and paying off your credit cards, like most people do, then why would you need to employ someone to make these other payments for you? It doesn't make financial sense. When you enroll in any bi-weekly payment program all you are doing is authorizing someone else to debit your bank account electronically every two weeks. Then that money goes into their account. When they have debited your account twice, they then have enough to make a full payment, and they then send it off to your mortgage service. By debiting your bank account every two weeks, and making regular payments based upon that scenario you are making 26 half-payments a year, which is equivalent to 13 monthly payments, and a smart financial move on your part.

This extra payment a year makes a substantial difference by the time the full term of the loan has transpired. For instance, you have borrowed $100,000 at 6 percent interest for 30 years and you are paying about $600 a month in principal and interest, and the taxes and insurance bring the monthly payment to $1,000. By making that extra $1,000 payment every year, you will pay off your mortgage in 22 years and 2 months. Thus reducing the life of your loan by almost eight years and saving about $34,000 interest.

You Can Achieve This Three Different Ways:

  1. Save up your money and make an extra payment once a year, and tell the lender that the extra money should go toward principal.

  2. Every month you divide your monthly payment by 12 and send that amount, along with your regular payment, again telling the lender that the extra money should go towards the principal.

  3. You could pay a company to debit your checking account every two weeks and automatically make the extra payment for you every 12 months. Pay a one-time setup fee of about $200 to $500 along with the service fee of $2.50 to $4.50 for each biweekly payment. Over 22 years, you would end up paying at least $1,600 in fees.

Now, unless you're someone who has too much money, is exceptionally lazy, exceptionally busy or is exceptionally irresponsible, options 1 and 2 make a lot more sense than option 3. You can probably find better things to do with your money than to pay someone else to make these deposits for you. A bi-weekly mortgage reduction program will not only substantially reduce the amount of interest you'll pay, but it requires no refinancing, no qualifying, no closing costs and absolutely no changes to your current mortgage.

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