Research undertaken by comparethemarket.com says that 58% of UK mortgage holders don’t make additional payments on their mortgage. This is very interesting data because almost all mortgage applicants start off their mortgage journey with every intention of doing so.
All Homeowners know that overpaying, even by relatively small amounts, can make a big difference to the number of interests paid back over the term. The sooner you begin overpaying, the better, as the extra payments have a more extended period to affect.
The survey by Compare the Market suggests that Homeowners cannot afford to make extra payments, although the main reason could be that life simply gets in the way. We know overpaying is the “right” thing to do but let’s face it, there’s always something else you can be spending your money on, and plenty of those things are more exciting!
Part of the dilemma here is remembering to make those extra payments. It’s unlikely to cross your mind too often, except perhaps when your mortgage only has a few years left to run.
So, if you can see something of yourself in the above and would like to be making those extra payments so that, perhaps you can retire a year or two early, then what should you do?
It’s highly recommended setting up a standing order payable to your lender each month. Set up the standing order to go out on the same day as your regular mortgage payment. E.g. your mortgage payment is, say £500pm and is collected on the 1st of the month. You can afford to pay an extra £75pm, so set up a standing order for £75pm to go out of your bank also on the 1st.
The reason for the above is that very quickly you will start to “feel” that your mortgage is £575pm and you will get used to that within a matter of months.
The big advantage of setting up a standing order to a direct debit, is you (the payer) are completely in control, unlike a direct debit where this is the receiver. Therefore, if you find yourself a little tight with money for one month. You can easily log in to your online banking and pause the standing order so that it would cancel any future payments from going out until reactivated.
Up until the point of stopping the payments, at least you have benefited from the additional payments made until that point, and as mentioned above, this does not stop you from reactivating your standing order in the future when you are more financially comfortable.
Some mortgages will even let you make reduced payments or take a payment holiday if you have been overpaying for a while. Before choosing a payment break though it’s essential to check with your lender that you are eligible to do so to avoid a bad mark on your credit report.
Whether a First-Time Buyer or going for a Remortgage in Leeds, overpaying your mortgage is a great habit to get into. You don’t need to go hell for leather at it unless you feel so obliged but even shaving a year or two off will be very welcome when you near the end of the term.