You may have received e-mails touting a system that promises to help you pay off your mortgage early. This mortgage-acceleration package -- which includes a software program -- relies heavily on the use of a home-equity line of credit. The software analyzes your financial data to reveal when and how much extra you should prepay.
The Money Merge Account system, sold by United First Financial, costs $3,500. For the price, you may also receive a recruiting pitch. United First is a multilevel marketer that encourages salespeople to bring others aboard, passing the profit up the food chain.
With or without expensive software, the fact is that the more discretionary income you can commit to prepayment, the quicker the mortgage becomes history. We suggest you keep your $3,500 and do it yourself without having to fend off a pushy salesperson.
For example, divide your monthly payment by 12 and pay that much extra each month. Doing so would allow a homeowner with a $230,000 mortgage at 6% to cut about 5.5 years off a 30-year mortgage (see our How Advantageous are Extra Payments? calculator).
Is prepaying your mortgage even a good idea? That depends on whether you have better things to do with spare cash. You could create a reserve fund so that you don't have to borrow in an emergency or stash the money in a tax-deferred college- or retirement-savings account.
Salespeople challenge whether you'll follow through on your own -- as if spending $3,500 for software will ensure that you'll use it. Tell that to couch potatoes whose high-end exercise equipment gathers dust.
Is A Recession Looming? Two Big Bank CEOs See It That Way
Recession is likely, Citi's CEO told a Senate panel today, a sentiment echoed by JP Morgan's chief executive last week.
By Joey Solitro Published
Stock Market Today: Stocks Swing Lower as Oil Prices Retreat
A bad-news-is-good-news jobs report sent the main indexes higher at the open, but they didn't stay there for long.
By Karee Venema Published
Best Foreclosure Sites for Finding Properties
Making Your Money Last Wondering how to find foreclosed homes for sale for your next residence or to flip for a profit? These websites will guide you to foreclosures and real estate-owned properties to buy.
By Bob Niedt Published
Luxury Home Prices Rise as the Rich Dodge High Mortgage Rates
Luxury home prices rose 9% to the highest third-quarter level on record, Redfin reports, growing nearly three times faster than non-luxury prices.
By Kathryn Pomroy Published
Four Tips for Renting Out Your Home on Airbnb
real estate Here's what you should know before listing your home on Airbnb.
By Miriam Cross Published
Five Ways to a Cheap Last-Minute Vacation
Travel Procrastinator? No matter. You can pull off a fun and memorable getaway on a moment's notice — without breaking the bank.
By Vaishali Varu Published
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
insurance Instead of relying on rules of thumb, you’re better off taking a systematic approach to figuring your life-insurance needs.
By Kimberly Lankford Published
When Is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime In 2023 Amazon had two Prime Day events — one in July and another, called Big Deal Days, in October. We expect 2024 to follow the same schedule.
By Bob Niedt Last updated
How to Shop for Life Insurance in 3 Easy Steps
insurance Shopping for life insurance? You may be able to estimate how much you need online, but that's just the start of your search.
By Kaitlin Pitsker Published
5 Ways to Shop for a Low Mortgage Rate
Becoming a Homeowner Rates are high this year, but you can still find an affordable loan.
By Daniel Bortz Published