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06/26/2012

Increased Bartering Can Have Big Pay-Off

Could you increase your trading efforts to bring another $100 or more in every single month? Doesn�t sound too hard does it? In fact it�s such a puny goal that it probably doesn�t even inspire you. But when you look at what an extra $100 will do for the building of security and your peace of mind, it may suddenly get you moving.

Here�s the plan: Take the $100 and make an extra payment on your home mortgage every month to reduce your loan. In most states you may prepay up to 20% of the original loan during the first five years without penalty, and after five years lenders cannot impose any prepayment penalties.

By making just one extra monthly payment a year, you can cut seven years off the life of a 30-year loan. (That equals $92,700 in saved mortgage payments � based on a $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate loan at 8%.) But before you start making prepayments, it�s a good idea to call the lender or loan-servicing company and ask it they have a preferred method.

If you write a single check, be sure to include a note explaining that you want the extra amount to be applied directly to your principal. Otherwise, the money may be applied to your next month�s payment, which won�t reap the interest savings. Also, keep a copy of the check and your note just in case there is confusion down the road.



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