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How To Make Bi Monthly Mortgage Payments

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Don’t Make Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments | Biweekly Mortgage Payments vs. Monthly Payments

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Biweekly Payments Vs Additional Payments

Biweekly payments are not your only option for a shorter, more inexpensive mortgage. Additional payments are a great alternative and applicable to any loan. An additional payment is entirely separate from your total monthly payment and then applied directly to principal. An additional payment can also be any amount you wish, made with any frequency that suits your budget.

Additional payments are totally within your control. In the event that biweekly payments are unavailable or not in your best interest, nothing is stopping you from saving one or more months of mortgage payments and then contributing that balance directly to principal. This approach will simulate the secret extra payments created by biweekly payments, but without the need to adopt a biweekly structure.

Similar to biweekly payments, additional payments will reduce your total interest expense and loan duration. When youre devoting additional cash to accelerate the repayment of a loan, however, you must consider if this is the best use for your money. For instance, the amount of your additional payment could be used to pay other debts, grow more liquid investment accounts, or increase your emergency fund. These are important considerations because you dont want to find yourself in a position where you need money that is inaccessible due to being tied up in your home.

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Pros And Cons Of Biweekly Payments

The biggest con of making biweekly payments is having to run the numbers initially to figure out how much you should pay to cover the core principal & interest payment along with other fees associated with your home loan. The above calculator helps homeowners simplify this task. 🙂

Some services which claim to automate biweekly payments charge a fee that exceeds the interest savings. You should be able to switch to a biweekly payment plan without incurring other fees. Extra fees that a third party service might charge could instead be applied directly to your loan payment to pay off the home much quicker.

An easy rule of thumb for the principal and interest portion of your loan is to pay half of what your monthly payment is, so that you are paying an extra month worth of payments each year.

For the other costs associated with homeownership , if these expenses are embedded in your monthly home loan payments then to calculate the biweekly equivalent you would multiply the expenses by 12 and then divide that number by 26 .

If there are some costs which are not embedded in your monthly loan payments then you would have to remember to budget for those separately each month, which would be just like the current monthly payment you are already paying. And you could save for them using the same calculation to figure how much you would need to set aside out of each paycheck to cover those monthly payments.

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How Biweekly Payments Work

Generally speaking, the premise of making biweekly mortgage payments is simple. Instead of paying once a month, you pay half your monthly mortgage amount every other week.

The real magic of the biweekly payment comes from the fact that there are 52 weeks in a year, giving you 26 total payments. If you were to make two payments a month, that would be just 24 payments in a year. So, the biweekly method has you making two extra payments each year, which is the same as making one extra monthly payment.

For example, suppose your current monthly mortgage payment were $1,000. Over a year, you would spend $12,000, making 12 payments. If you were to make biweekly payments, you would make a $500 payment every two weeks. It seems like the same thing, right?

The biweekly method drastically decreases the amount of interest you pay for your home.

If you take $500 and multiply it by 26 payments, you have $13,000 in total payments. That extra $1,000 is applied directly to your principal, reducing how much youll spend on interest and helping you to pay your mortgage off sooner.

Here’s another example to help you better understand the true savings. Assuming a $100,000 30-year mortgage at a fixed interest rate of 6.5%, you’ll pay $127,544 in interest, plus the $100,000 principal, for a total of $227,544. Paying half of your regular monthly mortgage payment every two weeks will result in an interest cost of $97,215, saving you $30,329.

What If Your Lender Wont Allow Biweekly Mortgage Payments

Pay Off Mortgage Faster with Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments

Some lenders dont accept biweekly payments.

If this is the case, your best option is to manually make the extra half payments twice a year. This will have the same effect as the biweekly payment option. If you mark those payments as going toward principal only, itll have a slightly bigger impact.

While most lenders no longer charge prepayment penalties, double check your lenders policy as any fees can potentially negate the savings of additional payments.

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Youll Pay Less In Interest

Each mortgage payment you make is composed of an interest payment and a principal or original loan amount payment. When you first start paying down your mortgage, a larger percentage of the monthly payment will go toward interest, while very little goes toward your principal balance. Over the course of a 15- or 30-year loan, youll slowly begin paying more toward the principal than interest.

This process is called amortization, and anyone whos ever had a loan literally had to pay their dues, especially during those first few years.

But, again, heres where making biweekly mortgage payments can really help you. Since youre making an extra full payment each year, youll pay down the principal even faster. This means each interest payment thereafter will be smaller than if you hadnt made that extra payment.

In the end, this can save you a huge amount of money. For example, if you have a $350,000 mortgage with a 4.125% interest rate and a 30-year term, making biweekly mortgage payments can save you nearly $42,000 over the course of your loan.

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How To Pay Your Mortgage Bimonthly

For most homeowners, the mortgage is their largest monthly expense. However, most people dont get paid on a monthly basis. Fortunately, homeowners have the option to make their mortgage payments on a bimonthly basis so that they coincide with their payroll schedule and are divided into two smaller payments each month. Although most homeowners can set up this type of payment plan through their lender, there are several mortgage payment companies that offer a different option.

1

Determine whether you will be able to afford to pay your mortgage bimonthly and still have enough money left to pay your other monthly bills. You may need to schedule your mortgage payments based on when you get paid or before your other bills are due. Creating a budget can help. Look at the calendar and make a list of your monthly bills along with their due dates. Compare these amounts with your salary or other income to come up with the two days out of the month on which to schedule your mortgage payments.

2

Contact your lender to find out more about its payment options. Most lenders will allow you to make bimonthly mortgage payments by setting up automatic drafts from your bank account. Ask about the lender’s payment plan service fees.

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Questions You Must Ask Before Signing Up For Biweekly Mortgage Payments

1. Are biweekly payments available with my lender?

Just as every landlord wont offer the same amenities, all lenders wont offer the option to make your mortgage payments on a biweekly schedule rather than monthly installments. Since interest rates do not vary significantly from one lender to the next, most often this payment structure is used as an additional selling point to entice a potential borrower. So why would a lender not offer a biweekly payment structure to its borrowers?

Biweekly payments are more complicated to administer, feasibly doubling the amount of work on the part of the lender. In addition to being more labor intensive, biweekly payments also generate less income for the lender over the lifetime of the loan. Remember, a mortgage is just another product offered by a lender, so when you make biweekly payments, youre essentially receiving a discount on the total price of your mortgage.

If your lender does not offer the option of a biweekly payment structure, third-party vendors do exist to fill the gap. These companies simulate biweekly payments by coordinating with your lender to fulfill your monthly mortgage payment on your behalf. Then, you make biweekly payments to the third-party vendor, most often with the addition of an initial and/or ongoing fee .

2. Are there additional fees associated with a biweekly payment structure?

3. When will my lender apply my second payment to my mortgage balance?

4. How does my lender calculate interest?

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Youll Pay Your Mortgage Off Faster

So, just how much sooner would you pay off a mortgage with biweekly payments, versus standard monthly payments? Lets look at the math.

There are 52 weeks in a year, which means that with biweekly payments, youll make a total of 26 contributions toward your home mortgage. At the end of the year, that actually equates to 13 full monthly payments versus the 12 you would have made with your standard repayment schedule.

This additional payment each year can significantly reduce your principal balance, meaning that youll pay off your home even faster than planned.

Lets say that you have a $200,000 mortgage loan at a rate of 4.00% for 30 years. If you pay according to your lenders standard amortization schedule, your loan will take you 30 years to repay.

However, by paying biweekly and essentially making one extra monthly payment a year youll actually pay your loan off midway through year 25. Think of all the things you could do being mortgage-free for nearly 5 extra years!

Standard Repayment Timeline

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Biweekly Mortgage Payments Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars

Lets see how making two extra payments each year can save you in interest payments on your mortgage.

If your mortgage principal is $200,000 at 4% for 30 years:

  • Monthly Payment : $954.83
  • Biweekly Payment : $477.42
  • Total Interest Saved: $22,533.31

Not only will you save over $20,000 in interest, which is enough to buy a new car, you will also pay your mortgage off four years sooner! That means four fewer years of monthly payments and more money in your wallet.

All you have to do is make two extra half payments each year!

To calculate how much you can save with biweekly payments, plug your mortgage payment information into a calculator.

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You Can Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

As shown in the example above, making biweekly payments can help you pay off your mortgage early even years early, in some cases.

If you have that $250,000 mortgage mentioned above and youre making biweekly mortgage payments, you can actually shave four years and two months off of your loan. Instead of being in debt for 30 years, youll only be in debt for 25 years and 10 months. Imagine what you could do with four mortgage-free years!

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