Or add something to it each month. We have a small mortgage, which I took out to refinance kids’ student loans (7.9% on one of them, the usurious fuckers) and every month when we have our budget meeting we decide what we can send and shoot it off. We’re tracking to pay off a 10 year mortgage in 3 years. The principal is around $500 and altogether the payment is $1K. We’ve never paid less than $1500, and now that the above-mentioned credit card advances are paid off we’re sending $2500/mo. If we’re short one month, we dial back, but generally speaking in every situation involving interest we pay what we can, not what we have to.* So we don’t pay more than the actual payment on our 0% car loan, the credit card advances didn’t accrue interest so we didn’t over pay until the end, when we were sick of messing with it and wanted to clear it out.
According to my Calculate the effect of making additional monthly principal payments calculator, handily provided by the bank that services my mortgage, every additional $100/mo takes a month off the estimated maturity date. I love these calculators and will play with them wherever I find them. Impact on retirement of saving more? Yes please! Chart showing the impact of accrual of interest on credit cards? Ooooooh, interesting! And I particularly like running through the rule of 72 with young clients or compulsive over-spenders. It really is a “the more you know” situation. I’m always stunned by the avoidance people exhibit - like it’s too terrifying to look at, so they don’t. But small, incremental changes make such a sure and steady difference. Kind of like working out. You can go gangbusters, but even small efforts in that direction will make measurable differences.
*Obviously this is made possible by our preference for living below our means.