Should you pay off your mortgage early?
New research from financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown has shown that one in six of us who have purchased a property will either be over 65 by the time the mortgage is fully paid off, or the loan will never be fully paid off. The question stands, therefore, as to whether you should pay your mortgage off early or not?
As the average age of homeowners creeps upwards, and first-time buyers are entering the marketplace beyond 30 years old, the prospect of entering into retirement with a mortgage still to pay is going to be a reality for many. Research conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority supports this notion, with the FCA forecasting that 40% of first-time buyers in 2017 would still be repaying their home loans at 65.
First and foremost, do your sums to see whether you have anything to worry about in the first place. If you are going to be receiving a healthy pension anyway, then the prospect of continuing mortgage payments may not be anything to worry about. On the other hand, if you are going to be on a lower income than you’re currently accustomed to, then mortgage payments may well prove to be a stretch. If this is the case, here are a few options to help you pay that mortgage off sooner:
Overpay whilst you can
Speak with your mortgage provider to see when your prospective final payment is, and use this to incentivise yourself to pay early when you can afford it. Many mortgages will not charge you for overpaying, instead embracing the higher payments so double-check with your provider and overpay in order to bring forwards that final payment date.
With interest rates at record-low levels, many borrowers are now considering remortgaging in order to obtain a more favourable mortgage. Eventually, you will be moved onto your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) if you do not remortgage or move onto a different deal during your mortgage term. Avoid these less favourable mortgage rates which will extend your mortgage term, and you could slice years off your repayment schedule just by switching providers or plans.
Reduce your mortgage term
Rather than overpaying on your current mortgage plan, reassess your financial status to see what you can really afford now. You will most likely be in a different economic position now to when you first purchased your property, and potentially able to afford higher repayments. If this is the case, and you are likely to remain in a stable position for the foreseeable future, then reducing your term and increasing your monthly payments is a guaranteed way to pay off your mortgage more quickly.