Paying Off a Mortgage?
Want to pay off your mortgage before you retire?
If you’ve paid off your mortgage, you know the peace of mind that comes with owning your home, but if you’re in the process of paying yours off early, don’t neglect other financial goals. Pay off your high-interest debt first. Credit cards, payday loans, car loans, and personal loans usually cost more than a mortgage. Plus, that interest isn’t tax-deductible. With mortgage interest at record lows, consider refinancing. Calculate how long you need to stay in your home to justify the cost. Make sure there’s no prepayment penalty if you desire to pay it off early. Think about a bi-weekly payment schedule to make an extra monthly payment each year. Another simple trick is to round up your payment. If it’s $1,450, round it up to $1,500. It doesn’t sound like much, but over time it adds up. Plus, you have the flexibility of dropping back down to the normal payment if you need the extra cash.
Build up your emergency fund. I recommend an amount that covers 3 to 6 months of expenses. Covid has revealed the financial vulnerability of many Americans that resulted in stimulus payments to help ease the pain. Now if you have any major purchases ahead, save for those so you don’t have to finance them. Are you maxing out your 401(k), IRA, and HSA? A diversified retirement account is important for your future. Owning a home requires maintenance and taxes. Take care of yours and it will be an important asset for you. Remember: “Steady plodding brings prosperity.” (Proverbs 21:5)
And if you’re overwhelmed with credit card debt, I recommend Christian Credit Counselors. They can create a debt management plan just for you. For more information call the Crown Helpline: 800-722-1976 or visit online at crown.org/ccc.