What Is a Biweekly Mortgage?A biweekly mortgage is a home loan repayment plan that requires the borrower to make payments every two weeks instead of the traditional monthly payments. Each biweekly payment is generally half of what a monthly payment would be. Over the course of a year, this results in 26 half-payments or the equivalent of 13 full monthly payments instead of the standard 12.
How Does It Work?In a biweekly mortgage, you’ll pay half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks. Because there are approximately 52 weeks in a year, you’ll end up making 26 biweekly payments, which equates to 13 monthly payments. This extra monthly payment goes towards the principal of the loan, helping you pay off your mortgage faster and saving you money on interest over the life of the loan.
- Pay Off Loan Faster: By making an extra payment each year, you’ll be able to pay off the loan much faster.
- Interest Savings: Because you’re reducing the principal more quickly, you’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan.
- Budget-Friendly: For individuals who are paid biweekly, this schedule can be easier to manage.
- Automated Payments: Many lenders allow automatic biweekly payments, making it easier to manage.
- Limited Flexibility: Once you opt for a biweekly payment schedule, you may be committed to that schedule.
- Additional Fees: Some lenders charge fees for setting up a biweekly payment schedule, or may not offer it at all.
- Not Suitable for All: If your income isn’t consistent, biweekly payments could create financial strain.
How to Set Up a Biweekly Mortgage
- Talk to Your Lender: Not all lenders offer a biweekly option, so you’ll need to check if it’s available for your mortgage.
- Understand the Terms: Make sure you understand any fees associated with switching to a biweekly payment schedule.
- Automate Payments: If possible, set up automated payments to ensure you never miss a payment.
- Review Statements: Regularly review your mortgage statements to confirm that the extra payments are being applied to the principal.
Alternative OptionsIf a biweekly mortgage isn’t suitable for you, consider these alternatives:
- Extra Monthly Payments: Make one extra monthly payment per year, or add a little extra to each monthly payment.
- Lump-Sum Payment: Use a bonus or tax refund to make a lump-sum payment towards the principal.
- Refinancing: If interest rates are lower, consider refinancing your mortgage to a shorter term.
A biweekly mortgage involves making half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, this results in 26 half-payments, or 13 full payments, instead of the usual 12.
The additional payment each year goes directly toward reducing the principal balance of the loan, which reduces the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan, and can result in the loan being paid off earlier.
No, a biweekly mortgage doesn’t change the actual terms of your loan. It simply changes the payment schedule, allowing you to pay off the loan faster and save money on interest.
Most lenders and loan types allow for biweekly payments, but it’s important to check with your lender to ensure that they accept biweekly payments and don’t charge any additional fees for this service.
Some lenders may charge a setup fee or transaction fees for biweekly payments. It’s important to ask about and understand any fees before setting up biweekly payments.
You can set up biweekly payments directly with your lender, or through a third-party service. Be sure to confirm that the additional payments are being applied directly to the principal.
While both strategies result in an extra payment each year, a biweekly mortgage divides your monthly payment in half and pays it every two weeks, whereas an extra payment can be made all at once or in installments at your convenience.
This depends on your lender’s policies. Some lenders may allow you to switch back to monthly payments, while others may not. It’s important to ask about this before setting up biweekly payments.
A biweekly mortgage could potentially reduce your mortgage interest deduction faster than with a monthly payment schedule. However, it would also reduce your mortgage balance and build equity faster. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to understand the implications for your specific situation.
A biweekly mortgage can be a smart financial move if you’re looking to save money on interest and pay off your mortgage faster. However, it’s important to ensure that you can comfortably afford the accelerated payment schedule and to consider other financial priorities and goals.