Borrowers with a 15-year term pay more per month than those with a 30-year term. In return, they receive a lower interest rate, pay their mortgage debt in half the time and can save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage.
The biggest benefit is that instead of making a mortgage payment every month for 30 years, you'll have the full amount paid off and be done in half the time. Plus, because you're paying down your mortgage more rapidly, a 15-year mortgage builds equity quicker.
Build equity faster
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, with its lower interest rate and higher payment amount, builds home equity faster because you pay down the principal balance quicker.
Pay extra toward your mortgage principal each month: After you've made your regularly scheduled mortgage payment, any extra cash goes directly toward paying down your mortgage principal. If you make an extra payment of $700 a month, you'll pay off your mortgage in about 15 years and save about $128,000 in interest.
A 15-year mortgage is designed to be paid off over 15 years. A 30-year mortgage is structured to be paid in full in 30 years. The interest rate is lower on a 15-year mortgage, and because the term is half as long, you'll pay a lot less interest over the life of the loan.
Pros of refinancing to a 15-year mortgage
Interest rates for 15-year mortgages are often lower than those on 30-year mortgages. That lower rate, plus a shorter repayment period, can save you tens of thousands (or more) in interest. Paying off your mortgage at a faster pace allows you to build equity more quickly.
Paying off your mortgage early is a good way to free up monthly cashflow and pay less in interest. But you'll lose your mortgage interest tax deduction, and you'd probably earn more by investing instead. Before making your decision, consider how you would use the extra money each month.
Making additional principal payments will shorten the length of your mortgage term and allow you to build equity faster. Because your balance is being paid down faster, you'll have fewer total payments to make, in-turn leading to more savings.
Biweekly payments accelerate your mortgage payoff by paying 1/2 of your normal monthly payment every two weeks. By the end of each year, you will have paid the equivalent of 13 monthly payments instead of 12. This simple technique can shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars in interest.
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.
In this scenario, an extra principal payment of $100 per month can shorten your mortgage term by nearly 5 years, saving over $25,000 in interest payments. If you're able to make $200 in extra principal payments each month, you could shorten your mortgage term by eight years and save over $43,000 in interest.
A Both overpaying and shortening the mortgage term are equally beneficial and do exactly the same thing. They both reduce the overall amount of interest paid on the mortgage and shorten its term.
Payoff in 15 years and 8 months
By paying extra $500.00 per month, the loan will be paid off in 15 years and 8 months. It is 9 years and 4 months earlier. This results in savings of $108,886.04 in interest.
The amount saved will vary based on the initial size of the loan and interest rate. Simply by making an additional payment over the life of a 15-year mortgage for $300,000 dollars at an interest rate of 5%, amounts to an eventual savings of up to 200 dollars monthly.
Regardless of the amount of funds applied towards the principal, paying extra installments towards your loan makes an enormous difference in the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. Additionally, the term of the mortgage can be drastically reduced by making extra payments or a lump sum.
Okay, you probably already know that every dollar you add to your mortgage payment puts a bigger dent in your principal balance. And that means if you add just one extra payment per year, you'll knock years off the term of your mortgage—not to mention interest savings!
Drawbacks to biweekly payments
One drawback to biweekly mortgage payments is that some lenders may charge fees to enroll in their biweekly payment plan. When it comes to fees, you should crunch the numbers to confirm you'll still get ahead financially by paying biweekly.
Tens of thousands of dollars can be saved by making bi-weekly mortgage payments and enables the homeowner to pay off the mortgage almost eight years early with a savings of 23% of 30% of total interest costs. With the bi-weekly mortgage plan each year, one additional mortgage payment is made.