What It Takes to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years
There are a few ways you can accomplish paying off a 30-year mortgage in just 15, getting you out of debt faster. Let's look closer into how you can achieve this.
When buying a home, the most common way to cover the cost is with a mortgage loan from a bank or credit union. Most homebuyers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, a loan that’s structured to take 30 years to pay off. Not only are the payments fixed (which makes budgeting a bit easier), but they’re also typically more affordable.
However, your home loan payment is likely your biggest expense. The thought of having to make such a large payment every month for 30 years can be a bit daunting. That can lead to many homeowners wondering, can you pay off a mortgage early? What if you could pay off your 30-year mortgage in 15 years?
As it turns out, there are a few ways you can accomplish this goal, getting you out of debt faster. There are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind first. Here’s what you need to know.
Pay Off a Mortgage Early: The Pros and Cons
The thought of paying off your home in less time is pretty enticing. Before you dive in and start planning to eliminate your mortgage in less time, consider the pros and cons of such a major financial decision:
- You eliminate one of your largest monthly payments. By paying off your mortgage early, you free up more of your earnings. You can put the extra money toward other debts, savings, or education. That freedom can also provide peace of mind, knowing that you don’t have to make those payments anymore.
- You pay less in interest overall. Every mortgage payment has interest attached to it. A 30-year loan term means you’ll be paying interest for a long time. If you pay off your mortgage early, you pay less in interest overall.
- Your home is truly yours. When you pay off your mortgage in full, your home becomes yours. If you’re ever in a situation that would make paying a mortgage difficult, you won’t have to worry about possibly losing your home while you figure things out.
- You lose a tax deduction. Your mortgage interest is tax-deductible. By paying off your mortgage, you no longer receive that deduction.
- You could face prepayment penalties. Some lenders charge penalties for paying off your mortgage early. You can check your loan documents or contact your loan servicer to find out if you’ll face a penalty.
- Your credit score may take a hit. Several factors make up your credit score, including your credit mix (credit cards, car loans, personal loans, and mortgages). By paying off your mortgage early, you remove one of those credit types, which could cause your score to go down a bit.
How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years
You have a few methods to choose from to pay off your 30-year mortgage early. Here are a few to consider:
Overpay Each Month
One easy way to get ahead on your mortgage and pay it off early is to overpay on your amount due each month. Specify that you want anything over your minimum amount due to go to your principal only. You can simultaneously lower your mortgage faster and reduce what you pay in interest overall.
Make Biweekly Payments
Instead of making one payment a month, pay half of the total amount every two weeks. That’s 26 weeks of half-payments, which equates to 13 full payments a year. In essence, you make an extra full payment every year.
You may be able to set this type of payment system up online and automate it. That way, you won’t even have to think about it. You may also want to check with your lender to be sure they’ll accept biweekly half-payments.
Put “Surprise” Money Toward Your Mortgage
Maybe your boss surprised you with a sizeable bonus this year. Or perhaps you received an unexpected inheritance. You can put that “surprise” money toward your mortgage, which will help reduce your principal and how much you pay in interest.
Another option you have is to refinance your 30-year mortgage into a 15-year one. Generally speaking, 15-year mortgages have lower interest rates. Your monthly payments, however, will increase, even if your interest rate goes down. You may also have to pay closing costs when you refinance.
Before you decide to refinance, make sure you can afford the higher monthly payments. For some, it may make more sense to keep a 30-year mortgage and make extra payments. That way, if a financial emergency occurs, they can still maintain their minimum monthly mortgage payments before attacking them again once they resolve the situation.
Convert your Home Equity to Cash
Paying Off a Mortgage Early: An Alternative Solution
There’s another alternative you might consider that can help you eliminate your mortgage even sooner – a sale-leaseback. Using this solution, you sell your home to a company like EasyKnock. Once you close, the funds from the sale go toward paying off your mortgage right away, instantly eliminating your monthly mortgage payment. What’s more, you get the rest of the money from the sale to use how you see fit.
While you could sell your house the traditional way, the downside is you’d have to move. That comes with its own set of problems, such as finding a new place to live, packing, and the cost of moving itself. That’s a lot of stress to get rid of a mortgage.
If you’d rather stay where you are and avoid all of the moving-related stresses, a sale-leaseback allows you to do just that. Even though you sell your house, you get to remain as a tenant. The only thing you have to pay is a monthly rent. EasyKnock takes care of the rest, like property taxes and HOAs.
Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?
With dedication and planning, you can pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years. Or, at the very least, you can pay it off sooner than your original loan term. In doing so, you eliminate your largest monthly payment and gain more financial freedom.
If you’re looking for a faster alternative, a sale-leaseback provides an excellent solution. For more information and to see if your home qualifies, visit EasyKnock today!
Amanda HoeyContent Marketing Manager
Amanda Hoey, Content Marketing Manager for EasyKnock, has applied her experience in public relations and content development to help produce educational and informative content for the financial and real estate industry. She is committed to bringing awareness and knowledge to homeowners about EasyKnock’s home equity loan alternative.