Top Six Mortgage Hacks That Will Save You Money
Having a mortgage is an amazing feeling. It means you are paying off an asset such as a home or an investment property and you are building your personal wealth. However, being responsible for a mortgage can also bring some unwanted stress.
As an expert in the industry, Gary Corriveau has written down six mortgage hacks that can help you save a substantial amount of money with your mortgage and ensure that your life is stress-free!
1. Prepare for your mortgage early
The most important mortgage hack to save money long term is to prepare for it in advance. Many future home buyers make the mistake of waiting until they are ready to shop for a home or after they have already found one before speaking to a mortgage professional. Starting early with your mortgage preparation will leave enough time to organize your credit in order for you to increase your credit score and will help you determine what down payment you require to qualify for the best mortgage solution. Your credit score and your down payment are two of the most important factors in getting a mortgage.
2. Improve your credit score
Your credit score is very important. Now is the time to do what is needed to increase your credit score. Most people don’t even know what is on their credit report. The first thing you should do is get a copy of your report from one of the credit reporting agencies. Many potential home buyers are struggling with having low credit scores and are trying to find a way to improve their scores before applying for a mortgage. This process is not complicated, and if you learn what negatively impacts your credit scores in advance and which actions on your part can help, you will be able to improve your credit score quickly.
A. What negatively impacts your credit the most?
Bankruptcies and Foreclosures
High Credit Card Balances
Too Many Recent Credit Inquiries for various types of credit
B. Tips on how to improve our credit score
a. Reading and understanding your credit report
Reviewing your credit report is the first thing you need to do. There are a lot of things on your credit report, but the most important things to find are as follows: Account number, credit limit, balance, past due amount, and minimum or monthly payment. Get familiar with these on your credit report for each of your accounts.
b. Increase the available credit on all credit cards
Credit card balances are not the only problem. The issue is really the percentage of your card balance versus the total credit limit on the card. If the balance on your card is close to your credit limit, then you are over-leveraged and do not have much available credit. That is a huge negative, and it will reduce your credit score. You want your balance to be less than 30% of your limit, but it is even better if it is closer to 10% of your limit.
c. Make on-time payments
All payments from this point forward must be made on time. If you cannot make the full payment, then at least send something. Late payments are much worse than partial payments. Put payment reminders into your phone and set an alarm because timely payments are absolutely critical.
d. Avoid collections at all costs
It is critical to avoid having an account placed for collection with a collection agency. Many people just think they can ignore the phone calls and notices. Then, your account is placed for collection, and once that happens, it gets reported to the credit bureau, and your credit is immediately impacted. The key to avoiding the collection is by sending something. If you disagree completely with the charge, then keep communicating with the lender or credit provider. Write letters indicating that you are trying to resolve the situation. If you are actively engaged, then they will not place your account for collection.
e. Make sure your credit report is accurate
Verify that all of the information on your credit report is correct. If you see an error, you should contact the creditor (for example, your credit card company) that is falsely reporting it. You should also contact both of the credit reporting agencies (TransUnion and Equifax) to make sure it is corrected in their systems as well.
3. Refinance to a lower rate by consolidating your debt into a mortgage or home equity line of credit
This is a great strategy if you have some equity in your home. Do you also have high-interest credit card balances, auto loans, student loans, and more? Take out a mortgage or home equity line of credit on your home to pay off all of these debts. The interest rate on your mortgage or home equity line of credit will be less than the interest you are paying for these other items. This seems like the obvious thing to do, but the real key to saving money is if you keep allocating your current payment amount even after you refinance to a lower rate and payment. Using the monthly savings to pay down your debt faster is the key to this mortgage hack.
4. Pay down your mortgage with your tax refund
What do you do with your tax refund? Do you go on vacation or spend it all on something that will not yield a return? Consider using it all every year to pay down your mortgage. Taking advantage of prepayment privileges will help you pay down your mortgage faster and will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
5. Renegotiate your other monthly expenses
We all have a lot of monthly or quarterly expenses that can be renegotiated. Most people just keep paying and never question what they are being charged or whether the rates can be reduced. There are many things that can be renegotiated, such as cable TV, cell phone, internet, home security, house insurance, auto insurance, etc. Take the savings and allocate them to your mortgage payment. Increasing your mortgage payments in any way will help you become debt-free sooner.
6. Make bi-weekly payments
Most mortgage payments are made once per month. Adjust your mortgage payments to a bi-weekly payment. For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is $2000 per month, you would instead pay $1000 every two weeks. This allows you to make an extra full mortgage payment every year. This will reduce your amortization by approximately three and a half years on a twenty-five-year amortization.
If you are looking for a mortgage agent based in London and Windsor, Ontario, then reach out to me at mortgageswithgary.com. I have significant years of professional experience in the financial services industry, working with clients, helping families achieve the dream of homeownership and financial independence. I have a reputation for building strong relationships centering on integrity, transparency, and delivering client service excellence.
In addition, I am a Certified Financial Planner and a Life Insurance Broker with an extensive background in creating wealth, managing risk, and I have many years of mortgage lending experience providing a wide array of solutions for clients, from working with First Time Home Buyers to experienced clients looking to Refinance, purchase a Second Home, or Investment Property.
I offer my services to clients across Windsor, LaSalle, Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leamington, Tecumseh, Essex, Lakeshore, Chatham-Kent, London, St.Thomas, Strathroy, Sarnia, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and all over Ontario. To learn more about the services I offer, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here.