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4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 4

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 

PART THREE – Pay One Extra Payment Each Year

PART FOUR – Eliminate one non-essential monthly expense and put it towards the mortgage 
How much do you spend on non-essential monthly expenses? One example is cable/satellite. Let’s say that it’s $70/month ($840/year). If you’re really interested in getting rid of your mortgage quicker, cancel the cable and use that money towards the mortgage payment. Yes, this does require some sacrifice BUT just think about the end goal –> no mortgage payment! That should get you fired up!

Other items that could be reduced/eliminated include:

  • Dining Out
  • Clothing
  • Spending money
  • Grocery bill (use coupons!)
  • Insurance premiums

Less payments toward these items mean more money for payments toward mortgage elimination!!

 

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 3

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 

PART THREE – Pay One Extra Payment Each Year
One of the most common ways that people get rid of their mortgage is by sending in one extra payment each year. This will eliminate 5 to 7 years from a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

You can send one extra payment each year using a variety of methods:

  • Send in one extra payment when you receive a tax refund or profitability bonus
    • Since this money is extra and not part of the normal budget, it’s easier to put this money immediately towards the mortgage.
  • Set up 1/2 payments to be made every two weeks
    • Since there are 26 two-week periods in a year, this means that 13 full payments will be made each year. Presto! An extra payment!
  • Send in 1/12 (8.3%) extra on each monthly payment.
    • 1/12th payment/month X 12 months = 1 full payment per year

You can run the numbers for your specific mortgage by using the Early Pay-Off Calculator. This is a great tool to discover how much sooner you could be debt-free by making extra payments each month.

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 2

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 
Interested in eliminating 7 years or MORE from your 30-year fixed rate mortgage? Just add an extra 10% to your monthly payment! For instance, if your mortgage payment (including escrowed taxes and insurance) is $1,000, you would send in an extra $100 per month – $1,100/month.

Example – Let’s say you have a $150,000 – 5.5% fixed-rate mortgage with a monthly payment (include escrow) of $1,000 with $852 being applied to principal and interest each month (the other $148 being applied to taxes and insurance). If you send in $1,100 each month (extra 10%), there is now $952/month being applied to principal and interest. This will reduce a 30-year note to a 23 year 4 month note!

You can run the numbers for your specific mortgage by using the Early Pay-Off Calculator. This is a great tool to discover how much sooner you could be debt-free by making extra payments each month.

 

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 1

I’ll never forget the day that I signed my first home mortgage. I financed such a large amount of money that I couldn’t really comprehend the amount. That day I only knew two things: I wanted to purchase a house and the bank was willing to lend me the money. It wasn’t until after I made my first mortgage payment that I realized just how much this debt was going to cost me. As I begin to discover the enormity of this debt, I set out to find ways to eliminate my mortgage quickly so that more of my money would be applied to the principle balance instead of the interest.

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate
One key way to quickly getting rid of the mortgage is to have an excellent mortgage interest rate. Current mortgage rates are still near an all time low. CNNMoney’s has an excellent online calculator that can be used to evaluate different refinancing alternatives to see which one is best for your situation. It can be obtained HERE.

Just lowering the interest rate by 1% on a $100,000 mortgage will save nearly $1,000/year! That, my friends, will spend just like money and I would much rather apply that money toward principal reduction or funding a dream than sending it as a gift to my mortgage lender!

Another great tool is the Early Pay-Off Calculator located on our website under the Tools tab. This tool will show you how much more quickly you can pay off your loan if you obtain a lower interest rate.

This can seem very basic, but it is easy to get caught up in the day-t0-day bustle of life and miss one of the key ways to eliminate the mortgage more swiftly!

#1 Debt Mistake

When I meet people at events, I often ask them: “What is your top financial goal for the year?”

By far, the most common response is, “I want to reduce or eliminate debt!”

This is an incredible goal. Reducing or eliminating debt helps create financial margin and reduce stress. However, many people make the mistake of skipping straight to debt reduction without first saving money in an emergency fund. This is a HUGE MISTAKE.

You see, I made this mistake for a long time. I wanted to kill debt. I was frustrated and angry and wanted to say goodbye to my long-time friend, Sallie Mae Student Loans, the bank, credit card companies, and stores. I wanted the debt to be G-O-N-E. So I ran right past the more important step – saving money.

Take a minute to think about it. If you do not save but only focus on attacking your debt with any and all extra money (tax refunds, bonuses, money freed up by budgeting better, etc), you will begin to see your debt go down.

Then your car will break down.

How will you pay for it? Since you skipped the “save money” step, you will have to use credit to pay for it. This becomes an extremely disappointing moment. It causes many people to give up on debt freedom and say, “I just can’t seem to get ahead.”

Choose to save money first. I recommend starting with at least one month of expenses. Once all of the non-house, non-business debt is gone, build the savings to 3 months of expenses.

Yes, this slows down the debt pay-off. Yes, it’s frustrating to focus on savings when you have debt (especially when you include interest). BUT if you save first, you will secure your ability to stop acquiring new debt, which is the biggest step you can make towards true financial freedom.

Interested in learning more about saving, eliminating debt, and budgeting? Check out my book I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

How To Pay Off Your House In Less Than 10 Years

Many people believe that because they have a 30 year mortgage, it will take 30 years to pay it off. Some have been enticed by gimmicks (that cost thousands of dollars) purported to help speed up their home pay-off using some “little known” and “magical” formula. The truth is there is one way to pay your mortgage off earlier – by paying extra money toward the principal balance and less money toward interest.

Here’s an example:

  • $150,000 mortgage balance
  • 4.5% interest rate
  • 30 year mortgage
  • $760 principal & interest payment

If one were to pay $200 extra per month toward principal ($960/month), the mortgage would be paid off in 19 years 8 months (a full 10 years sooner)!

If an extra $790 per month were applied toward principal (1,550/month), the mortgage would be paid off in 10 years flat.

Use our “Early Pay-Off Calculator” to calculate the difference extra principal payments or interest rate reductions would make!

5 Ways To Pay Off House Earlier

  1. Refinance to a interest rate
  2. Rent out a room and use the rent to pay toward principal
  3. Use tax refund to reduce principal
  4. Use a bonus to reduce principal
  5. Eliminate PMI and use the money to apply toward principal

I applied this technique and paid off my house in 6 years flat, and you can read every month of my journey by clicking THIS LINK.

8 Ways To Speed Up Debt Elimination

In a recent live event, 58% of respondents shared that “reducing or eliminating debt” was their top goal for the year.

If this is one of your top financial goals, here are some key ways you can speed up your debt freedom date.

8 Ways To Speed Up Debt Elimination

  1. Reduce Interest Rates Many people with substantial consumer debt do not realize that 50% to 75% of their payments are merely going to the lender as interest – greatly reducing their ability to lower their debt. If you have high interest rate credit card balances, consider transferring to a 0% interest card (like these 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers). Is your mortgage interest higher than those listed at BankRate.com? If yes, consider refinancing the mortgage. It is amazing what a few hours of focus on interest rate reduction can do to speed up your Debt Freedom Date!
  2. Pay Raise Are you being compensated fairly? Check out Salary.com for current pay rates of positions similar to yours. Take some moments to document how you are adding substantial value to your organization. If it makes sense to have a conversation with your leader, do it! Nothing like some more income from your current job to speed up debt elimination.
  3. Tax Refund A tax refund might be an “interest free loan to the government,” but it also represents an opportunity to impact debt in a big way.
  4. Bonus A bonus can also help kill some debt. One great thing about debt freedom is it allows future bonuses to be used to fund future dreams – instead of paying for things from the past.
  5. Found Money From Better Budgeting When I started preparing and living by a budget, it literally transformed my finances. I freed up hundreds of dollars that was going to “miscellaneous cash withdrawals” and impulsive grocery shopping trips.
  6. Sell Some Possessions Sell the boat, motorcycle, extra car, and collectibles. Eliminating possessions will free up space, eliminate stress, and greatly speed up your pace toward accomplishing debt freedom.
  7. Overtime If you have the chance to work overtime, it can really help speed up debt reduction. Plus, you’ll be too tired to spend the extra income on frivolous things.
  8. Second Job If you don’t have the opportunity to work overtime at your existing job, take a second job – or start a small side business. The key here is to focus on something that is short term. You don’t want to sign up for a permanent second job. Instead, commit to applying all additional money to your debt elimination plan. The reward when you become debt free? Quitting the second job and still prospering because you’ve freed up all of the money that was previously committed to payments.

You can do this!

Read the How To Pay Off Debt Series

OWE vs OWN – One Letter Makes All The Difference

Have you ever noticed that a single letter makes the difference between the words OWN and OWE?

OWE
vs
OWN

It takes FOCUS to exchange the “E” for the “N”.

There is nothing like fully owning something. You will see, feel, and smell things in a different way. A paid-for car will drive more smoothly. A paid-for house will look better when you pull in the driveway. A college degree is nicer when the student loans are paid off.

You can OWE with just a few conversations and signatures.

OWNERSHIP usually is the result of intense and diligent effort.

QUESTION: Do you OWN or OWE?

2nd QUESTION: If you OWE, what changers are you willing to make to exchange the “E” for the “N”?

You can use our Debt Freedom Date Calculator to find out how long it will take you to achieve debt freedom.

What To Do When You Are Behind On Bills

I’m behind on my bills. I feel stuck. What do I do to get caught up?

This is perhaps the most common question I experience during our live teaching events.

While the best answer for each family may vary, here are some of the most common ways to get UNSTUCK and gain financial margin:

  1. Sell something  What do you have that is worth $1,500 that would allow you to get caught up immediately? Put it on Craig’s List and generate cash to change your financial life!
  2. Work an extra job  Not fun, but this is not a “forever” option. Set a goal to produce an extra $2,000 within the next couple of months with a holiday type of job.
  3. Establish a budget  Without a plan, there will be no profit (Proverbs 21:5). Prepare a written budget for the month of December and make every dollar SCREAM!
  4. Go on a financial fast  Eliminate a monthly expense like Internet, cable, or Netflix. Perhaps you could eliminate dining out for one month.
  5. Eliminate a debt  If you have two cars, sell one! Eliminate the debt payment AND reduce your debt big-time. This might present some logistical challenges, but it sure helps speed up financial freedom!

Have you ever taken one of these steps? Please share your experience with us in the comments!

Save, Invest, or Pay Off Debt?

Suppose you happened upon a substantial amount of money all at one time. For discussion purposes, let’s say it was $10,000.

What would you do with this money? There are really five options available to you:

  1. Spend it
  2. Give it away
  3. Put it into savings
  4. Pay off debt
  5. Invest it

Most people will be faced with this type of situation at least once in their life. Here are some thoughts to consider with each option.

1. Spend it

This would certainly be a fun option! The money could be used to make much-needed home repairs, purchase a vehicle, or take a vacation.

2. Give it away

Being able to give $10,000 away is an incredible option! Consider the impact you could make on the world around you by giving money to support causes you really believe in.

3. Put it into savings

Financial margin provides something I call “financial confidence.” When I first achieved financial margin, it was as if scales literally fell from my eyes. I was able to “see” opportunities like never before.

4. Pay off debt

Debt increases a person’s operating costs and requires more income. If the debt is associated with a no-value or declining value item, it is literally the equivalent of “robbing yourself.”

5. Invest it

What if you could use the $10,000 to start a business that will produce $4,000 of income each year for the next 40 years? Consider the investments you might be able to make – it could literally change your life!

Your thoughts are appreciated. What would YOU do?

How 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers Work – And Save THOUSANDS of Dollars!

NOTE: I wrote this post to help people who are paying high interest on their credit cards. I maintain a running list of 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card offers HERE.

Here’s a fact: Many people possess credit card debt they are unable to pay off each and every month.

They want to pay it off each month, but they are unable to. As a result, they feel stuck. The interest rate being applied to their credit card balance is one of the primary reasons they feel that way.

0% balance transfer credit card offers provide a way to eliminate a credit card debt very quickly and can provide HUGE savings over keeping a balance on a high interest card.

Here’s an example:

  • Credit Card Balance: $16,000
  • Interest Rate: 21.99%
  • Minimum Payment: 1% of balance plus interest charges (or $10 – whichever is greater)

If this person were to keep the balance on this card, they would pay $44,895.36 and take 36 years 4 months to eliminate!

By transferring the balance to a 0% transfer offer and making the same payment, they would pay $17,039.51 TOTAL (only $1,039.51 in interest and fees) – and they would be free of credit card debt in 49 months!

Rolling a high interest credit card balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card offer SAVED $27,855.86 and become debt free 387 months (32 years and 3 months) sooner!

Here’s the process of how this type of offer works:

  1. THE OFFER  An offer and application for a zero percent balance transfer credit card is completed ON-LINE or through a mail-in offer.  During the application process, the applicant is asked if they wish to transfer a balance.When this option is selected, the application process includes the opportunity to provide information regarding existing loan balances that they wish to be transferred.  This requested information is detailed including – current provider, account numbers, and loan balance.It is important to understand that the application process requires the applicant to provide their social security number and that a credit check will be performed.Once the application is submitted, a decision is typically rendered within a time range of a few minutes to a few days.
  2. THE EVALUATION  Once the application has been submitted, the credit card provider evaluates the information provided to determine credit-worthiness.  This evaluation is completed based upon several factors that vary between lenders.  It always involves a check of one’s credit score and the loan amount requested.This evaluation also ensures that the person listed on the application is really the person requesting credit.  This is an extremely important step to prevent identity theft and fraud and should make the applicant feel much more comfortable with this process.
  3. THE DECISION  Once this evaluation is complete, a decision is rendered.  The lender’s decision will be one of three alternatives:
    1. ACCEPTED:  ALL of the balances to be transferred to zero percent
    2. ACCEPTED:  SOME of the balances to be transferred to zero percent
    3. DENIED:  NONE of the balances will be transferred

    If ALL of the balance transfer requests are accepted, the new credit card provider will send money directly to each of the lenders.  Within a few short days, the balances due each previous lender will be lowered by the requested amount and that new balance will transfer to the new card provider.

    If SOME of the balance transfer requests are accepted, the new credit card provider will send money directly to some of the lenders.  IT SHOULD BE NOTED that it varies between lenders on which balances will be accepted.  On one of Discover’s applications, it stated the following in their terms and conditions:

    “We process multiple balance transfers in the order they are requested on the application. Your credit line may be less than the amount of balance transfers you request. In addition, balance transfers may be limited to a portion of your credit line. If a balance transfer will exceed the credit available for a balance transfer, you authorize us to process any balance transfer for less than the amount requested, up to the amount of your credit available for balance transfers.” – SOURCE: Discover’s website

    If NONE of the balance transfer requests are accepted, then it means that requested balance transfers will not occur and the current lenders will remain the owners of each debt.

That’s how this type of offer works – hopefully it can help you save tons of money!

Disclosure

Is Home Mortgage Interest Deduction A Good Idea?

Is home mortgage interest deduction a good idea?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions at our live events.  Below is my answer.

If you have a mortgage and are paying interest, it is ABSOLUTELY very important to take the mortgage interest deduction. BUT there are a few key facts to consider as well.

One thing I have heard commonly stated is “I am not going to pay off my mortgage early because I do not want to lose the mortgage interest deduction.” I believe this saying was initiated by banks because it is much more costly to keep the mortgage than to pay the taxes owed without the interest deduction.  See the example illustrated below.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction
Let’s say you paid $5,000 in interest on your mortgage last year. By taking the deduction, you effectively reduce your taxable income by $5,000. You receive back the tax rate on that home mortgage interest deduction. If your tax rate is 30%, you will receive a refund of $1,500 because of the home mortgage interest deduction (30% of $5,000). Of course, the bank keeps the $5,000 you paid in interest. Uncle Sam receives 30% of your taxable income which is now $40,000 because you were able to reduce your taxable income by the $5,000 interest you paid. The total net OUTGO from your bank accounts to Uncle Sam and the bank is $17,000!

The Paid-Off House Scenario
Well, you are living life pretty good in your debt-free condition! You have paid off your house, so now you no longer pay interest to the bank (yay!). This means you will be taxed on your full income of $45,000. If your tax rate is 30%, the total net OUTGO paid to Uncle Sam is $13,500!

NET RESULT:  By eliminating your mortgage, you have $3,500 LESS OUTGO from your bank account to someone else.

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The Race – Who Will Win?

As children, we’ve all heard the story about the tortoise and the hare challenging each other to a race.

We were shocked to learn at the end of the story that the slow-poke turtle beat the lickety-split rabbit.

Would it shock you to learn that people who choose the turtle approach with their finances usually end up much better off than those who choose the long-eared approach?

Those that choose the rabbit approach use the following two-step logic:

  1. “I wanted to buy a truck, and I was able to buy it that very day!”
  2. “Now, I want to get out of debt today, so I should be able to become debt free this very day!”

When their urgent desire to fix their financial situation wanes, the debt still remains and they give up.

Those that choose the turtle approach use the following two-step logic:

  1. “It was a series of decisions that put me in this financial situation.”
  2. “It will take a series of decisions that will take me to the financial situation I desire.”

Do you see the difference in the approach? Do you feel it?

I wanted to become debt free except for my house on December 2, 2002 when I experienced my IHHE Moment. But it took a series of committed decisions over 14 long months for my family to achieve debt freedom.

Which process will you choose? Or which process have you chosen?

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BROKE MENTALITY QUESTIONS: How Much Are The Payments?

I am passionate about helping people win with their money.  This means that I really focus on the statements that people make and how they make them.  I observe their body language, tone, pitch, and wording.

There are some statements that are particularly telling of what I call a “broke mentality” – the thinking of a financially broke individual.

One of those statements is “How much are the payments?

People who are not broke ask the better question – “How much is the total cost – the purchase price AND the ongoing operating expenses?

I have observed that people who ask “How much are the payments?” are more likely to:

  • Pay a much higher purchase price
  • Pay a much higher rate of interest
  • Be unaware of the ongoing operating expenses
  • Finance their purchase versus pay cash
  • Still be paying for their purchase even after that item has been discarded

We are ALL susceptible to falling into the “broke mentality” – Have you ever made decisions this way?  Would you mind sharing your story in the comments?

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Improving 0% Interest Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers

As regular readers of JosephSangl.com know, I am passionate about connecting people to ways to lower the interest rate on existing credit card debt.  This is why I was so excited to see that credit card providers have begun offering 0% Interest Balance Transfer offers with no transfer fees!

We have updated the on-line offers that we have found HERE (http://www.josephsangl.com/2011/07/19/0-percent-balance-transfer-credit-card/).

If you have existing credit card debt that you are paying a ton of interest on, this is a great way to reduce that interest to ZERO!

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