This is an extension to a previous article I wrote on ‘The Benefits Of Paying Your Mortgage Off Early‘. Making overpayments on your mortgage is a great way of reducing your mortgage, consequently providing the opportunity to paying off your mortgage earlier than due. Overpayments is usually suited for those that want to reduce their mortgage balance and/or eventually pay off their mortgage, as opposed to investors that simply want to pay interest and rely on equity growth through house price increases.
What is mortgage overpayments?
Making mortgage overpayments refers to paying an optional extra amount each month to what is agreed by your lender at current. I recently paid a chunk off of my mortgage, so in theory I could have reduced my monthly mortgage payments because I would be paying interest on a lower loan amount. However, I decided to keep paying the same amount I had always been, consequently making overpayments, meaning I’m now chipping away a little more of my mortgage each month.
So let’s take a look at the math…
My mortgage balance was £155,000 on a 25yr agreement, with an interest rate of 5.59%. My monthly payments were £971.40 (repayment). I reduced my mortgage to £140,000. My monthly payments could now potentially lower to £877.39. But instead, I decided to continue paying £971.40 per month. That means I’m overpaying by £94.01 per month (£971.40 – £877.39). So, how much am I effectively saving? Well, I’m knocking off 4 years and 3 months of my mortgage which essentially means I’m saving a staggering £25,983 on interest rate payments alone over a 25yr period.
To make life easier, you can use the Mortgage Over Payment Calculator to calculator how much you could save by making overpayments.
Interest-Only and Repayment Mortgages
You can make overpayments for both repayment and interest-only mortgages, so it doesn’t matter what type of mortgage you currently have. I’ve explained how making overpayments for repayment mortgages work, by using the example of my current situation. There’s no difference in theory when it comes to making overpayments with interest-only mortgages. A lot of people usually get interest-only mortgages because it means monthly payments will be significantly lower. The usual scenario is that a borrower can afford the interest on a property, but no more than that. However, the main issue with interest-only mortgages is that you only pay the interest on the loan, so you don’t actually reduce the mortgage balance; that’s not a very warming thought for a borrower that wants to eventually pay off their mortgage. If overpayments were made on an interest-only mortgage, the mortgage balance would be reduced per mortgage payment, and eventually the amount of interest paid would lower, meaning lower mortgage payments. ‘Lower mortgage payments’ equaling to ‘affordable’
Let me show you a quick example in real terms…
I have a mortgage of £155,000 on a 25yr agreement with a interest rate of 5.59%. If I was on an interest-only policy, my monthly interest payments would be £722.04. As mentioned, I’m not reducing my mortgage this way, I’m just surviving. If I decide I can afford to pay £800 per month, I would be making overpayments of £77.96 per month. Over a period of time my mortgage balance would reduce, so the amount of interest I pay would reduce; eventually I could be in a position where I can afford to switch to a repayment policy where I can clear my debt.
Advantages of making overpayments
I’ve already covered the primary benefit, which is the huge potential savings. The second advantage of making overpayments is that they’re usually flexible. For example, if you decide you want to stop making overpayments, perhaps due to unforeseen financial difficulties, you can do so. Thirdly, as also mentioned, over a period of time, it makes it more financially affordable for a borrower to switch from an interest-only policy to a repayment policy.
Difference between repayment and overpayments on an interest-only policy
In theory, making overpayments on an interest-only mortgage is pretty much a repayment mortgage. But what’s the difference between the two? Well, there is no major difference. The only element that separates the two methods is that with a repayment mortgage you HAVE to repay some of your mortgage per month along with paying the interest, and making overpayments with interest-only mortgage is optional.
This actually confused me a little. If that’s the case, making overpayments on interest-only mortgages seems way more flexible. And you know what? It is. So why do people bother getting a repayment mortgage? It’s because they’re not familiar with their options. Mortgages can be complicated and overwhelming.
- While overpayments seem like a good idea on paper, it essentially depends on the terms and conditions of an individual policy. Read the small print, my amigos!
- Some mortgage policies cap the amount of overpayments you can make- find out your limit.
- Some mortgage policies may not allow you to make overpayments at all, or there may be a certain period from when you can start making overpayments
- Some mortgage polices penalise you for making overpayments
- Even the smallest amount of payments can make huge differences in the long run
- If you’re unsure of your options, ask your mortgage lender or talk to a good mortgage broker