Getting rid of the mortgage early is something that many home owners in the UK aspire to achieve. Being free of the principal financial debt in most people’s lives at the earliest stage possible offers financial security and peace of mind for later on in life. Paying off the mortgage early is no pipe dream though. In 2003, the average age of outright home ownership was 56, by 2004 the average age had fallen dramatically to just 48!
How home owners pay off their mortgages early
The secret to paying your mortgage off early lies in choosing the right type of home loan, and this is where flexible mortgage loans and offset mortgage loans step in.
Flexible mortgage loans, as their name suggests, offer flexible mortgage repayment terms where overpayment of mortgage is allowed by the home owner without incurring a penalty. Some flexible mortgage loans allow overpayment of a limited amount, such as 10% of the mortgage value, while other flexible home mortgage loans cater for unlimited overpayment by the home owner.
The advantage of flexible home mortgage loans is that as well as allowing you to overpay, you can also underpay, so taking a ‘payment holiday’ if finances become a little thin. Underpayment is of course subject to the terms of the mortgage, and will normally only be allowed if it amounts to less than the funds that have been overpaid.
Overpayment via flexible home mortgage loans means that you get to reduce your mortgage capital as well as pay off interest accrued on the capital each month. For each successive month that you make an overpayment the amount of interest paid on the overall mortgage is therefore reduced. An overpayment of just �65 on an �80,000 mortgage with the interest rate at 6.0%, will see mortgage loans paid off 5 years early, amounting to a total saving of some �15,000.
Offset home mortgage loans
Offset home mortgage loans were unveiled to the home owner in 1998, and have gained a great deal of respect from home owners since that time. Offset mortgage loans help to pay off a mortgage early by using what is known as a ‘sweeper’ system. Providing that the home owner has their current and/or savings account with the mortgage loans provider, their available balance is ‘swept’ across to their mortgage account each day to offset/reduce the amount of mortgage capital subjected to interest.
To illustrate the advantages of offset mortgage loans, take a mortgage of �100,000 and a balance of �10,000 in your current account and/or savings account. Instead of the interest rate being applied to the �100,000 every day or every month, the interest rate would be applied to your mortgage balance less the balance in your current account / savings account. This means that interest would only be applied to �90,000 of your mortgage, effectively making 10% of your mortgage interest-free!