Throwing 'found' money at the mortgage
Get a bonus? A tax refund? An unexpected windfall? However it ends up in your hands, you can funnel some or all of your newfound money toward your mortgage.
The upside: You're paying extra only when you're flush. And those additional payments toward the principal will cut the total interest on your loan.
The downside: It's irregular, so it's hard to predict the mortgage payoff date. If you throw too much at the mortgage, you won't have money for other needs.
Bankrate's mortgage calculator lets you see how much time and money you save by making a lump-sum payment. Click "Show Amortization Schedule."
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