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bi-weekly-and-accelerated-payments

How much do you save with bi-weekly payments?

bi-weekly-and-accelerated-payments

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!

Continue reading “How much do you save with bi-weekly payments?”

When Second Mortgages Make Sense

When a Second Mortgage makes good financial sense.

When Second Mortgages Make Sense

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “second mortgages”?   For some, it could be that shady-looking character in a smoke-filled pool hall… guys with gold chains and a baseball bat nearby. Maybe you’re thinking of someone in financial trouble? Or, perhaps it’s just someone who doesn’t want to pay outrageous costs and penalties to refinance their existing mortgage.

The mere mention of second mortgages conjures up all sorts of images. Most of them, negative. For many, a second mortgage can be a last-resort solution during a financial crisis. For several others, it can be an opportunity to save money. That’s right, to save money.

Sure, second mortgages carry a higher interest rate than first mortgages, but they can also serve a purpose. One of those purposes can be to save you money. Yup, I said it again. There are some new trends emerging with today’s new mortgage products that are forcing consumers to seek other options. Two of these trends are INFLATED PREPAYMENT PENALTIES and NO FRILLS MORTGAGES! Continue reading “When a Second Mortgage makes good financial sense.”

Consolidate debt pay less interest

Want to pay off debt? Pay less interest!

Consolidate debt pay less interest

It’s not a new concept but it is one that is worth remembering and so I will repeat it. If you want to pay off debt, start by paying less interest.

January is usually a tough financial month for most of us.  Holiday bill payments, rrsp contributions, property tax bills and if you are self-employed, you probably have to make some sort of business tax or corporate tax payment.  If December is the Holiday Season, then January feels like a hangover!

Banks and Credit Card companies love this time of year because this is when we will normally carry a balance and have to pay those crazy interest rates that range from 9% to 25%.  Wait, before you get too depressed, there could be a better option.  There’s a less expensive way to manage your debt. Continue reading “Want to pay off debt? Pay less interest!”

New year new home - Learn About the Home Buyers Plan

Home Buying Goals? A New Year’s Resolution to Keep.

New year new home - Learn About the Home Buyers Plan

New year, new home? It’s a good time to take another look at the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).

If you’re planning to buy your first home anytime soon, you may be able to take advantage of a helpful federal government program. This enables you to withdraw money you’ve already contributed to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and use it towards anything related to your home purchase, including your down payment, closing costs or real estate fees.

But, the key is that the funds must be in your account at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).

You can withdraw up to $35,000 ($70,000 per couple) from your RRSPs tax- and interest-free to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability.

Continue reading “Home Buying Goals? A New Year’s Resolution to Keep.”

Getting divorced - Should I keep the family home

Getting divorced? What about the family home?

Getting divorced - Should I keep the family home

Having worked on 8,000+ mortgage applications at this stage in my career, I’ve witnessed my share of separations and divorces. While I have shared a financial and personal perspective on marital splits in the past, it is always worth revisiting for those out there that are going through these life changes now or in the future.

You’ve heard the stats: 1 out of every 2 marriages fails. Actually, I think the number of failed marriages is even higher now. Wait, let me rephrase that. A marital split is not a failure. I think that’s old-world thinking. A marital split is usually a positive move for all parties involved – for the spouses who are no longer in love and the kids who don’t have to see an unhappy married couple.

Marital splits can be a very emotional and difficult time in one’s life – especially when there are kids involved. There’s always one parent who wants to keep the house because the kids grew up there or have friends there or it’s just more familiar to them.

Continue reading “Getting divorced? What about the family home?”

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