Your mortgage may come with a 15- or 30-year term attached to it, but that doesn't mean you have to wait that long to pay it off. In fact, if you have the funds or the will to make it happen, you can pay off your mortgage much sooner than that. But is prepaying on your loan a good move? Any benefits depend on several factors, including the loan's interest rate, your financial situation and more. Let's look at the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early:
- More cash flow: Once your mortgage is paid in full, you'll have fewer overhead costs on your home and lower monthly living expenses.
- Reduced financial stress: By eliminating your mortgage bill, you'll have more disposable income available.
- Increased equity in the home: A paid-in-full mortgage means you own the home outright and can sell it or turn it into a rental property at any time.
- Loss of tax benefits: Contributing extra funds to your 401(k) would have more tax advantages, and you'll lose the mortgage interest deduction.
- Reduced liquidity: Cashing in on your home equity is more difficult than accessing a savings account or rainy day fund.
- Savings starvation: By pouring all your money into your mortgage, you're likely starving other savings and investment accounts in the process.
Want to pay your mortgage off early? There are a few routes you could take. Refinancing is one great way to shrink your loan term and pay off that balance in less time, though it may still take a few years. You can also ask about an accelerated payment plan, or consider using savings or investment funds to pay off your balance.
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