Ways to Reduce Your Mortgage
In the absence of a lottery win, here are a few effective tips to help you achieve your dream of living mortgage-free quicker.
Alongside death and taxes, it’s a fairly sure thing that when mortgage rates rise, so will interest rates on other debts – think credit cards, store cards, car loans etc. On the flip side, when interest rates fall, banks don’t always cut rates on products like credit cards! Most lenders will enable refinancing within your mortgage (so you’re consolidating all of your debt within your mortgage). This ensures you’re paying a lower rate across all of your debt; which can only be a good thing.
As well as this, we recommend that clients run an ‘offset’ accountalongside their normal mortgage account (with the same lender). Rather than accruing interest on any cash in that account, the value of the interest rate is ‘offset’ against the main mortgage loan account. A lot of offset accounts are flexible enabling you to overpay (or underpay, but that’s not the aim!)
Shop around (and who doesn’t love shopping?) Moving your debt to another lender really can (and often does) save clients thousands of dollars each year. This is probably the easiest and most efficient action a mortgage holder can take to reduce their debt. Make sure that you do your homework however as some loans may charge an exit fee.
An oldie, but a goodie: make higher payments more frequently. Sadly there is no silver bullet (apart from that lotto ticket), so this really is the best way to get to mortgage-free living. Do a household budget and understand where you’re spending/wasting cash and what you could afford to forego in order to top up your monthly payments.
Use a mortgage calculator to simulate the options available to you. This will enable you to see what benefit each scenario might give you and allow you to make an informed decision about whether it’s worth forgoing the big family holiday to pay off that mortgage a few years earlier.
If you would like to talk to someone about arranging a new mortgage or refinancing an existing one, call one of BCV’s mortgage brokers on (03) 9781 4533 or drop into our premises to discuss your options and see how we can help.