What Is A Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment?

by Hank Coleman

Paying off PMI is a great investmentIf you have a 15 or 30 year mortgage, it may seem like it will take forever to pay off your debt. Thirty years, or even 15 years, is a very long time to continually have to make payments on something even though it is your house. However, there is a trick to the mortgage payment system that allows you pay off your mortgage even quicker than you expect with little pain out of your pocket. It is called a bi-weekly mortgage.

What Is A Bi-Weekly Mortgage?

A bi-weekly mortgage is just like it sounds. You make mortgage payments every two weeks instead of monthly. Instead of making one single monthly payments, you pay every other week, no matter what.

What this does is instead of making 12 payments per year, you make 26 half-payments per year. As you can see, this ends up being a total of 13 full monthly payments.

How Do You Set Up A Bi-Weekly Mortgage?

The simplest way to go about setting up a bi-weekly mortgage payment schedule is to just divide your monthly mortgage payment in two, and schedule your online bill pay to pay that amount bi-weekly. This will take care of it for you, and you will still ensure that you are meeting the monthly minimum payment each month.

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Another option is to use the service provided by your mortgage lender. Most lenders offer this option now, but many do so with an added convenience fee. Check with your lender or loan service provider before signing up for any programs to make sure that you are not going to be paying fees you do not need to. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars in fees by simply replicating a bi-weekly mortgage payment on your own with your bank’s online bill pay service.

The Benefits Of Paying Bi-Weekly

The biggest benefit of paying your mortgage bi-weekly is that you will pay your mortgage off faster because of that additional payment you make each year. That additional loan payment that you make reduces your principle that you owe instead of paying any interest payments, PMI, taxes, insurance, etc. like your normal monthly mortgage payment typically includes.

If you had a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, you would end up paying off your mortgage in about 25 years. If you had a 15 year mortgage, you would end up paying it off in a little over 12 years.

No matter what mortgage type you have, paying bi-weekly saves you interest that you will not have to pay over the life of the loan.

Do you pay extra on your mortgage every month? Do you subscribe to a bi-weekly mortgage payment through your lender? I’d love to hear how it has worked for you.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 585 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents

I do not pay biweekly, but I do pay additional principle each month. I stepped up my payments to have my mortgage paid off by the time I retire.

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MoneySmartGuides

My girlfriend is on a bi-weekly payment plan with her mortgage. Not sure if I should name the name, but is sounds like Fells Wargo. They told her all of the benefits yada, yada, yada. Well, I checked her monthly statement and they withdrawal money from her bank account twice a month. The kicker though is that they hold the first payment because it’s not enough to cover her monthly payment. Once the second payment comes in, they apply both to her mortgage. So basically, they are getting to invest her money for 15 days. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.

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Drew @ Epicfinances.com

Sadly most banks do not allow bi-weekly, they offer a form of bi-weekly through a program that does exactly what MoneySmartsGuides describes. What is worse, many charge a fee to administer the “Bi-weekly program.”

You can push your bank and try to get them make an exception, but many simply do not allow it to happen.

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Money Beagle

A free way to do this is to total up what you pay in principle and interest (in other words, back out any PMI or escrow), divide that by 12, and add that as an extra payment each month. It’s not exact but it will get you to the same place in roughly the same amount of time, and with no cost (assuming that your lender doesn’t charge for a prepay, which they shouldn’t). So, if your payment is $1,200 per month, you’d add on an extra $100 to each payment.

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