Create DIY mortgage payment plan

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Dear Dr. Don,
I currently have a mortgage with CitiMortgage and called to find out how I could break my monthly payment into weekly payments. I was told that even if I started sending the weekly payment a week after making my monthly payment, the money would sit in a suspense account and eventually be returned to me. Is this allowed?
— Keya Conditions

Dear Keya,
The mortgage lender isn’t your personal banker. It’s likely that somewhere in your mortgage contract, there is language stating the mortgage servicer will not accept partial payments on a mortgage.

I’m on record that I’m not a fan of biweekly mortgages. There’s no magic in the number of payments, other than you’re making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments a year instead of 12. There are a lot better, and easier, ways of making that 13th payment than getting boxed in to a biweekly mortgage plan. An earlier column, “Biweekly mortgage plans too inflexible,” explains my position in greater detail.

I’m not sure why you want to pursue a weekly mortgage. But if it’s for budgetary reasons, just have money taken out of each weekly paycheck and have it accumulate in a savings account that is used to fund the mortgage. If you’re using direct deposit, your payroll department will often let you split the paycheck between two or more accounts.

Alternately, you could accomplish the same result with online banking. Either method is easier than going to the bank each week to make this happen.

To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the “Ask the Experts” page, and select one of these topics: “Financing a home,” “Saving & investing” or “Money.” Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.