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A Mortgage and Bank Trick You Should Avoid at All Costs

Once you've purchased your home, you will begin to get correspondence from your lender about a "Mortgage Reduction Program," in which you can cut years off your mortgage, without adding money to your payment. This is another trick bankers have to get you to give them your payment sooner, so they can hold it in escrow and make more money off of you.

The program arranges for you to make your mortgage payment bi-weekly. In other words, you cut your monthly payment in half and make it every two weeks. Basically, all the bank is doing is collecting an extra mortgage payment, over the course of a year and adding it to your principal loan amount. This cuts five to seven years off your 30-year mortgage term. Here's the secret they don't want you to know.

First, you can do this without them. Simply add to your principal loan amount on any given month, when you can afford to do so. You'll learn more about this, in the section on ARMs. Second, the banks charge you a hefty setup fee, usually $250 to $350, as well as a monthly processing fee. You don't need to pay this, ever! Again, you simply add money to the principal loan, in the same check you use to pay your monthly mortgage. In fact, your mortgage invoice provides a box that specifically says, "Additional Principal." If you want to cut seven, 10 or even 15 years off your loan, just ask your mortgage professional how much you need to add each month or each year to meet that term.

The most exciting part of this plan, though, is not the years you cut from the term as much as it is the tens of thousands of dollars in interest you save. For example, on a $150,000 loan, if you add just one extra payment each year to the principal loan amount, you'll save well over $60,000, if you keep your mortgage for its entire term. And, if you set it up through payroll deduction at your workplace, you won't even notice the money is gone. This is a very powerful program and a great way to beat the bankers at their own game.

If you are interested in learning more about how much interest you can save by adding to the principal loan amount, go to a mortgage calculator site on the Internet, and ask the computer to do it for you. The best web site I have seen for this is Karl Jeacle's Mortgage Calculator. You can locate it on the Internet by simply doing a keyword search for mortgage calculator. Check it out, and you can beat the bankers at their own game.

Mark Barnes is the author of the new novel, The League, the first work of fiction, based on fantasy football. He is also an investment real estate and home loan finance expert. Learn more about his suspense thriller at Get his free mortgage finance course at


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