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Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to save some money on your mortgage, and other home stuff!

Hey ya'll!  It's been a busy week here, as usual!  How did the month of January get away from me?! Did that happen for any of you? Crazy how that happens!  Today's post has some info I heard on the radio about saving money on your mortgage, plus a few other links for homeowners that might save you more money!

I'm in my car for about 2 hours a day driving kiddos to and from their schools, to work, etc., so I listen to the radio quite a bit! One show I like to listen to is Clark Howard's radio show.  He is based here in Atlanta, and loves to help his listeners save money.  Earlier this week I heard him discussing how you could save BIG on your mortgage, so I checked out the site he recommended.  He was, as usual, right on the money!

I don't have the exact figures in front of me, but I know we have 23 years left on our mortgage, and we owe about $144,000.  I know our rate is in the 6.5ish range  (Yes - we NEED to refi, I know!!)  Clark suggested this website, which offers a prepayment calculator to show you how much you can save! I plugged the above info in, guessing at the interest rate, and I was really impressed at the possible savings!  You know that when you pay the mortgage,  you are mostly paying the interest.  My husband pays the mortgage and handles our bills, so I didn't realize just how much of our mortgage payment is only paying on the interest! Eye-opening, to say the least.  So knocking a few (or more) years off the life of your mortgage means big money in your pocket! 

Here's what the calculator showed for paying about $60 a month extra....

For a loan of $144000 at an interest rate of 6.5% for 23 years
The standard payment (principal & interest) : $ 1006.65

You entered $ 1065.00, an extra $ 58.35 each month
You paid it off in 245 months (20.417 years) 
•Expected total interest : $ 133836.26
•Your total interest : $ 115887.85
•Total interest saved : $ 17948.42

See? Paying an extra $60 a month, applied to the principle of our loan, would knock 3 years off. We save almost $18,000!! That is HUGE y'all! And check out what happens if we pay an extra $100 a month....

 For a loan of $144000 at a interest rate of 6.5% for 23 years
The standard payment (principal & interest) : $ 1006.65

You entered $ 1107.00, an extra $ 100.35 each month
You paid it off in 226 months (18.833 years)
•Expected total interest : $ 133836.26
•Your total interest : $ 105892.74
•Total interest saved : $ 27943.52

Now we've knocked off close to 5 years, but saved almost $28,000! WOW!  Isn't that incredible?  Of course, you need to make sure that your loan allows early pay-offs, and you have to specify on your mortgage coupon that you want the extra amount to go directly to the principle.  Check with your bank or mortgage company for all the scoop!  And check out that website to enter your own mortgage details to see how much you can save!  Who couldn't use an extra $15k or $20K in their pocket?

A couple more links to share:

Are you a Veteran looking for a Military VA loan?  This site has so much information about VA benefits, loan information, plus current mortgage rates and more!!   Click here to visit this page.

I also want to tell you about my auto/homeowners insurance company.  They ROCK! This is not a USAA-sponsored post,  I just love them!!  The company is USAA and they insure military personnel, retired military, and their family members.  My PaPa (grandfather!) was a Vet, and I'm thankful to him for using USAA, and therefore passing that benefit onto my Dad, who passed it on to me!  They offer great rates, the best customer service around, and  a variety of other services, including banking, car buying service, etc!  I can't say enough great things about them.  I have had my auto insurance with them for years.  Randy insured our home with his insurance company when we bought the house, so a few years ago, we checked to see if they could save us money on our homeowner's insurance.  Boy, did we ever save! We got more coverage for much less than the company we previously were insured with.  To see if you qualify for membership,  check out their website.  I love knowing that my kids are already members because of my USAA membership, so they will always pay the best rates and get the best benefits around! (In my opinion, of course!)  Another person who loves USAA?  Clark Howard again - he can't say enough how much he loves them too!

Do you have any great homeowner money-saving tips? Have you saved big pre-paying your mortgage?  I would love for you to leave me a comment and share! : ) 

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