For years, we’ve been told to pay our mortgage bi-weekly. Magically, it will pay your mortgage off faster. Hmm, let’s put that to the test.
(SPOILER ALERT!) Around 10 years ago, I wrote an article showing some simple but effective math to explain this. I’m constantly getting emails from my readers asking me what they should do. Obviously, a topic worth taking another look at.
Let me also say, there is merit to paying bi-weekly… I’ll explain further on.
HISTORY OF BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS
Back in the mid-’90s, there was a huge marketing blitz by the Big Banks that promoted making bi-weekly payments instead of the traditional monthly payments. The sales pitch was that you could save huge amounts of money and pay your mortgage off much faster, shaving 4 or 5 years off your amortization. Sound familiar? While offering some benefit, BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS DON’T SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU MIGHT THINK!
And I’ll prove it… Here are the straight facts!
EXAMPLE 1. MONTHLY VS BI-WEEKLY:
Let’s use a $200,000 mortgage with a 25-year amortization, a 4.00% interest rate and a 5-year term.
MONTHLY PAYMENTS $1,052.04. MORTGAGE BALANCE AT END OF 5 YEARS $174,107.86.
Now let’s calculate bi-weekly payments and the balance remaining at the end of the 5-year term.
BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS $485.55. MORTGAGE BALANCE AT END OF 5 YEARS $173,885.20
End result.. you reduce your balance by only $222 over a 5 year period.. Yup, that’s it!
EXAMPLE 2. ACCELERATED BI-WEEKLY PAYMENT:
Most mortgage lenders and Banks offer the option to pay an ACCELERATED PAYMENT. This simply means you pay an extra month’s worth of payments every calender year but, it’s spread out over 12 months. I’ll show you.
LET’S USE THE SAME MORTGAGE OF $200,000, 25-year amortization, 4.00% interest rate and a 5-year term.
ACCELERATED MONTHLY PAYMENT $1,139.71. MORTGAGE BALANCE AT END OF 5 YEARS $168,300.27.
You end up with a balance that is $5,807.59 lower at the end of 5 years. But don’t forget, you paid an extra month’s worth of payments every year during those 5 years, totalling $5,260.20. So the net benefit is really $547.39.
Now let’s look at ACCELERATED BI-WEEKLY PAYMENTS of $526.02, the MORTGAGE BALANCE AT END OF 5 YEARS IS $168,121.95.
The net benefit is a little better… $725.71 savings.
EXAMPLE 3. LUMP SUM PAYMENTS VS BI-WEEKLY ACCELERATED PAYMENTS.
SAME MORTGAGE $200,000, 25 year amortization, 4.00% interest rate and a 5 year term.
If we made one annual lump sum payment every year for 5 years, equal to one month’s mortgage payment ($1,052.04), your MORTGAGE BALANCE AT END OF 5 YEARS IS $168,194.51. Compare this with the Bi-weekly accelerated payment schedule and bi-weekly is only better by $72.56.
BOTTOM LINE, increase your payments and you’ll pay your mortgage off sooner. Go with a bi-weekly ACCELERATED payment. It is a better choice, if for no other reason than it’s easier to not see it come out of your bank account in a big lump sum payment.
Bi-weekly or weekly payments are not a mysterious formula for paying your mortgage off sooner. It’s the INCREASED PAYMENT that helps you pay it off sooner. After all, the best mortgage is no mortgage.
Your best interest is my only interest.
As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.
Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 firstname.lastname@example.org
As an industry insider, Steve will share info that the BANKS don't want you to know. Steve has appeared on TV's Global Morning News, CBC's "Our Toronto" and The Real Life TV show. He's also been quoted in several newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, The Star Phoenix, etc.