Mortgages are your biggest monthly outgoing. It would be a significant boost to your lifestyle if you did not have to pay this each month. There are ways to reduce your mortgage length, here are seven tips on how.
1.Make additional overpayments
This may sound obvious but making additional payments can save you more in the long-term. Every extra pound you add can reduce the amount of interest you will pay and reduce the mortgages length.
Making additional payments depends on your personal circumstances. Can you afford to do this? With Brits so bad at saving and already finances are being walloped by the present economic situation many feel that paying extra is not an option.
Many lenders permit a certain amount of fixed payments per year, after that they will apply an overpayment penalty. If this is so, then ensure you continue to put money aside but in a savings account so that when you can make a lump sum, it is there to pay off your mortgage sooner. There’s a useful overpayment calculator available via the Money Advice Service website.
2.Get a lodger
Renting a furnished room in your house and you could save up to £7,500 a year with the government’s Rent A Room scheme. Plus, you don’t even have to include the income on your tax return, unless you rent out more than one room.
You can pay off your mortgage faster if you can pour the cash you make from a lodger into a mortgage overpayment.
3.Rent out your driveway
If having a lodger living with you sounds too daunting, then why not use your house to help pay your mortgage in another way – rent out your driveway?
With car parks now horrifically expensive both commuters and tourists alike are searching for cheaper ways to park their cars before beginning their daily schedules. If you’re out for most of the day and your driveway is empty, then why not rent it out to someone who lives close by? Park On My Drive is one such website where you can advertise your parking space and make some more money to pay off your mortgage; especially if you happen to love close to a stadium, airport or the city centre!
Save your cash and when you next remortgage pays off a lump sum.
4.Use cash back credit cards and websites
Every day, people must spend money, that’s a given. So why not get something back for all the goods you buy?
Cashback credit cards do precisely this – allowing you to earn a percentage of your everyday spend if you use the card. However, a slight caveat here, cashback credit cards are only useful if you repay the balance in full each month. If you don’t, then the interest is higher than the cashback offered thus negating the point of using the card.
Furthermore, some websites like Quidco now offer cashback if you book through their website and not other retailers, so make sure you check these out before making any purchases. You don’t have to sign up to get a credit card to use it, make sure you are putting your cashback savings aside to pay off your mortgage.
Any little you can make will help pay off your mortgage interest and save you years on the mortgage length.
5.Reduce your outgoing bills
People are notoriously bad at ensuring they minimise their monthly outgoings. This is a way to really free up extra pounds – it’s time to take a look at your household bills.
Switching energy providers is a sure way you can save money. USwitch lists the cheapest suppliers of gas and electricity that you can switch to, and if you take energy companies duel fuel discounts (by buying both electricity and gas from them), you can save even more pounds.
Mysupermarket.co.uk has a great price comparison website where you can compare your weekly grocery shop and determine which is cheapest to buy from. Yes, it takes a little more time checking, but the savings you make could be very substantial.
Did you know that you only need a TV licence if you watch live TV broadcasts? If you download and watch TV programmes downloaded after they have been broadcast on other catch-up services, then you do not require a TV licence (note, excludes BBC iPlayer).
With the savings, you make from your monthly outgoings ensure you put them aside and are strict about not spending it!
6.Not spending your lump sums
Whether an annual bonus from work or inheritance, it’s tempting to splash the cash on something you’ve been longing to do for ages.
Go on that dream holiday, get the kitchen redone, by a conservatory or get a newer, more expensive car.
Always remember that if you can place some of your windfalls aside to overpay your mortgage, you will save thousands of pounds in interest in the long-term.
All savings you make, whether from your weekly shop or additional income should all be routed into paying off your mortgage. Paying a little now will eventually save you a lot more and bring you closer to finally living a mortgage-free life!
David Bailey-Lauring is a father of three and a small business owner from Brighton & Hove