Here's the bad news: Your property taxes and homeowners insurance don't go away once you pay off your mortgage.
After you pay off your mortgage, you'll probably want to continue to have a homeowners insurance policy. While your mortgage lender can no longer require you to carry home insurance after you pay off your mortgage, it's up to you to protect your investment.
Get in touch with your homeowners insurance company and let them know that you've finished paying off your home loan so you can make other payment arrangements. You may want to have bills sent to you each month so you can pay them by check, or you may prefer to set up autopay.
With your home paid off, you can leverage the equity in the event you need emergency funds or have to pay for major home repairs. You'll no longer pay interest on the mortgage loan. For every month you make a payment on your mortgage, you also pay interest.
Using one of these options to pay off your mortgage can give you a false sense of financial security. Unexpected expenses—such as medical costs, needed home repairs, or emergency travel—can destroy your financial standing if you don't have a cash reserve at the ready.
What is the most significant downside of paying off your mortgage early? The biggest drawback of paying off your mortgage is reducing your liquidity. It is far easier to get money out of an investment or bank account than it is to get money from the equity you've built in your home.
You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says. “The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s,” O'Leary says.
While mortgage rates are currently low, they're still higher than interest rates on most types of bonds—including municipal bonds. In this situation, you'd be better off paying down the mortgage. You prioritize peace of mind: Paying off a mortgage can create one less worry and increase flexibility in retirement.
While the average age borrowers expect to pay off their mortgage is 59, the number of survey participants who have no idea when they will pay it off at all stood at 16%. In 2019, 9% of those asked didn't know and in 2020, 11% gave this answer.
End of the mortgage term
Once a mortgage term has ended, any outstanding balance is due immediately. This can leave the homeowner with limited options: sell, remortgage, or face possession action in the courts.
Paying off your mortgage does not dramatically affect your credit score. You can get a sense of how much paying off your mortgage will impact your credit score in particular by using WalletHub's free credit score simulator. To be clear, though: You should always work to pay off any debt you owe as quickly as possible.
You will have to fund the new escrow account at closing out of pocket. Fortunately, you will still get your refund once the old loan is paid off. If you have a negative escrow balance, this amount can be rolled into your new loan amount, provided you have enough equity and can qualify financially for the higher amount.
Dave Ramsey is certainly one of America's leading voices on finance. Ramsey is averse to debt of any kind and believes you should pay off your mortgage as fast as you can. In fact, he recommends that people only take out a 15-year mortgage that is no more than ¼ of their take-home pay.
Paying off your mortgage may not be in your best interest if: You have to withdraw money from tax-advantaged retirement plans such as your 403(b), 401(k) or IRA. This withdrawal would be considered a distribution by the IRS and could push you into a higher tax bracket.
Many Retired People Don't Expect to Pay Off Mortgages
The survey, "Retirement and Mortgages," by national mortgage banker American Financing, found 44 percent of Americans between the ages of 60 and 70 have a mortgage when they retire, and as many as 17 percent of those surveyed say they may never pay it off.
The homeownership rate among Americans under 35 years was 37.8 percent in the second quarter of 2021. In contrast, almost 80 percent of those aged 65 and older owned their home. The homeownership rate is the proportion of occupied households which are occupied by the owners.
Average Retirement Debt: The Numbers
Three in 10 devote more than 40% of their monthly income to debt and a quarter have a mortgage with more than 20 years remaining on it. More than half say they intend to enter retirement debt free, but only one-quarter of retired Boomers actually are debt free.
Consider your full financial picture, not just your debt.
Paying off a mortgage early can free up cash flow and save a lot of money on interest payments. But investors shouldn't view their mortgage in a vacuum. Putting extra money toward a mortgage can be seen as part of an overall investment plan.
Being mortgage-free can make it easier to downsize in other ways – such as going part time – and usually makes it cheaper and easier to buy and sell your home. Generally, a smaller mortgage gives you greater freedom and security.
“If you're going to stay living in that house for the rest of your life, pay off that mortgage as soon as you possibly can,” Orman tells CNBC. Without a mortgage, you'll have more financial security in retirement, she says.
If the loan you paid off was your only installment account, you might lose some points because you no longer have a mix of different types of open accounts. It was your only account with a low balance: The balances on your open accounts can also impact your credit scores.
Your score is an indicator for how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. Several factors contribute to the credit score formula, and paying off debt does not positively affect all of them. Paying off debt may lower your credit score if it changes your credit mix, credit utilization or average account age.
If you're already close to maxing out your credit cards, your credit score could jump 10 points or more when you pay off credit card balances completely. If you haven't used most of your available credit, you might only gain a few points when you pay off credit card debt.
At the end of the term, you can renew or renegotiate your contract, including the interest rate and payment schedule. You also have the choice of staying with your current lender or shopping around to find a better deal. This ensures you aren't locked in to the same agreements over the entire length of your mortgage.