As more and more Americans struggle to pay for basic necessities, mortgages have become increasingly burdensome for many. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to slim down that monthly payment. Here are a few:
Make an Extra Payment (or Two, or Twelve)
If your financial situation brightens up, and you find yourself in possession of more money than expected, you can always start to pay down some of that principal right away. That may make life easier if things slow down again in the future.
Even one extra payment will reduce your overall burden, but, if you’re really doing well, consider making an extra payment each month. You’ll be surprised at how much progress you make in a relatively short period of time.
Whether it will or will not affect your monthly payment depends on the type of loan you have, but it just may reduce your overall interest rates and even put you closer to removing that mortgage insurance. Of course, a mortgage company like A and N Mortgage can help you figure out how it will apply in your particular case.
Recast Your Mortgage
Sometimes you hit a rough patch and simply can’t afford to keep up those hefty payments. Maybe you lost your job or got hit with a medical emergency. Either way, recasting your mortgage can get you out of a tight spot.
Basically, a recast restarts the clock on your mortgage. Even if you’ve already paid off years of your loan, you would essentially be back to a 30 year mortgage. By stretching out the life of the loan, you’re reducing the amount of your monthly payments, but increasing their number.
In spite of the drawbacks, a loan recast can save your home from foreclosure when the going gets tough.
Modify Your Loan
If you’re truly struggling to keep up with that monthly payment, you might consider a loan modification program. The good news is there are a number of federal loan modification programs out there that can help.
Not everyone is eligible, so you’ll have to do a bit of research and talk to your mortgage lender, but it is a viable last-ditch alternative for those who have missed payments or who are going through financial hardships.
One easy way to cut housing costs is to buy a smaller house. By selling your current home and purchasing a less expensive one, you can put the difference toward a sizable down payment. You may even hit that magic 20 percent number and be able to eliminate your private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
Not only that, but you’ll cut your monthly payment, while saving on property taxes and insurance. To top it all off, a smaller home may come with smaller maintenance and utilities bills.
Lose the PMI
Even if you don’t opt for a smaller place, you can ditch the PMI anyway. If you paid less than 20 percent on your down payment, you probably had to apply for private mortgage insurance, which tacked another bill onto that already sizable stack.
The good news is that as soon as you’ve reached 20% equity in the house, you can call up your mortgage provider and request that they drop that pesky PMI. The lender will then re-appraise the house to ensure that your mortgage value has indeed fallen below 80 percent.