July 5th, 2012
In spirit of the Fourth of July, Vera Gibbons suggests 4 possible ways to become financially independent in her Zillow blog post, “4 Steps to Financial Freedom.”
Refinance. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, and if you haven’t refinanced in the past few years, you should at least consider it. You could save thousands in interest in the long run, even with the associated fees.
Shorten the life of your loan. Rates for 15-year mortgages are even lower by almost 1 percent. You’ll pay less interest because the rate is lower, and because you’re not accruing interest for as long.
Pay bi-weekly rather than monthly. According to Gibbons, making 26 half payments instead of 12 full payments will shorten your 30-year mortgage by about 6 years, saving you 6 years worth of interest.
Make extra payments. If you can’t make the commitment of being able to pay off your mortgage in 15 years, then pay more often when possible. Just make sure you don’t have a prepayment penalty fee.