One of the major reasons that I am doing everything I can to get out of debt is because it absolutely sickens me that we are charged so much interest on our loans, and given so little on our savings. If we take out a mortgage to buy a home, we pay interest to the bank. If we need to take out car finance, we pay interest to the bank. We keep a balance on a Credit Card – we pay interest to the bank. Yes, I know they are providing a service and I know they need to make money. But it would sit a little better if there were comparable interest rates on savings accounts as there are on loans.
I suppose in the past I never gave much consideration to the amount of interest that I was paying each month. I was living paycheck to paycheck and just happy that the minimum payments were being met, I never looked at the cost of the credit. Since I made the decision to get out of that mindset, I have made sure that my debt pay-off plan is ensuring that the debt that is costing me the most is the one to go first! When I talk about becoming debt free, I have always only considered consumer debt – in my case that is a Credit Card balance, a Personal Loan and a Car Loan (figures in my Insta bio). But over the weekend I was reviewing the amount of interest I am paying each year on my mortgage – it’s a lot. At this time, I don’t have any plans to start throwing piles of money at my mortgage, but what I did do was look at what the difference could be if I slightly increased my monthly payment. I was pleasantly surprised.
If I paid an additional €200 off my mortgage each month – I would reduce the term of my mortgage by 8 years and reduce the cost of the interest I pay by a staggering €29,000. That slight adjustment would make such a difference to my retirement plans. Of course everyone’s circumstances will be different, with varying interest rates making the difference higher or lower for others – but it’s at least worth checking out the ‘Extra Mortgage Payments Calculator’ on ccpc.ie to see what difference it could make to your mortgage. As a rough guide, let’s say you have 25 years left on your mortgage, with €200,000 left to pay on an interest rate of 3%. If you are able to pay an extra €300 per month, you can pay it off in 17 years (rather than 25), saving €30,000 in interest payments.
If you’re in a position to increase your payments, and like the sound of cutting years off your mortgage, it’s advisable to talk to a financial advisor. They will help you assess if that’s the best solution for your specific circumstances.