I’m excited to tell you guys about a helpful tool called the Speedpay Strategy. It helps you to layout a plan for making additional payments to principle on your mortgage (or really any kind of loan). Its purpose is to help you pay off your mortgage faster than if you just made the minimum payment. Let’s take a look at what this tool is, when you should use it and what you should do before you use it.
Download the Speedpay Strategy in Excel.
What exactly is the Speedpay Strategy and how does it work? It’s a payment plan that uses increasing payments to principal that are based off of customized data that you input into the Speedpay Strategy Excel Worksheet. The Speedpay Strategy creates a schedule where each year the amount of what you pay directly to principal increase by a percentage of the original principal and interest payment. This allows you to anticipate how much faster your mortgage will be paid off and how much your monthly payment will need to be in order to reach your desired payoff date.
Why use increasing payments? One of the best parts about the Speedpay Strategy is the increasing payments. The reason this is a nice feature is because a person’s income tends to rise over time. Think about it, for most people, they will likely make more money next year than they did this year. So, it only makes sense to increase your mortgage payment, if you have a little more income, in order to pay your mortgage off faster.
I created a template for the Speedpay Strategy using Microsoft Excel and this template is available for free download on my website, buildwithkeegan.com. You can find it in the “Success Tools” section. As a side note, feel free to customize the Speedpay Strategy Template to fit your specific needs. To use the template from my website you don’t need to be a wiz at Microsoft Excel. First, simply download the template from my website and open the file. Please note, you will need the program Microsoft Excel in order to use the template. Second, enter in your loan information in the yellow boxes at the top left part of the screen. In this section, you will need to enter your original loan amount, which is the amount of loan that you started with when you either bought your home or when you refinanced. The next amount you need to enter is the current principal balance of your home loan. You can find this amount by either looking online, if you have online access to your mortgage, or by simply looking at the most recent mortgage statement available. Then, enter the amount of the original term. The original term is the number of months that you had at the beginning of the loan to pay back your loan. For instance, if you had a thirty year loan then the original term would be 360 months. Next, input the interest rate on your loan and the principal and interest payment amount of your loan. As side note, if you have a mortgage that requires bimonthly or biweekly payments then feel free to modify the Speedpay Strategy Template to accommodate your situation.
Once you’ve entered in your loan information, it’s time for the fun part! Enter in the percentage amount by which you would like your principle payment to increase each year. You can adjust this percentage up or down to meet your level of financial capabilities. You can also adjust this percentage to show you how long it will take to pay your loan off in a given amount of time. For example, say you want to pay your home loan off in 10 years. You would simply input different percentages until the loan balance is paid off within the 10 years as shown on the amortization schedule within the Speedpay Strategy Template. You can tell when the loan is paid off by looking at the “Loan Balance” column. When the loan balance hits negative and it is red, you know the loan is paid off.
If you want to put a little extra money to go to just the principal in addition to the Speedpay percentage then you can add that in the Speedpay Boost box. Whatever amount you enter will be added to the monthly principal payment amount for the entire life of the loan. For example, let’s say that you get a home loan and you know, right when you get the loan, that you want to put an extra 50 bucks towards the principal each month. Well then, you would enter the $50 in the Speedpay Boost box and this will show you paying $50 per month, every month, for the life of the loan, to just the principal.
Once you get all of the numbers entered into the Speedpay Strategy Template play with the Speedpay percentage and the Speedpay Boost amounts until you achieve a payment amount and a loan payoff date that you are comfortable with.
Next, let’s look at some recommendations on when you should use and should not use the Speedpay Strategy.
First, if you do not yet have an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months, you need to establish this prior to making additional payments towards your home loan. An emergency fund is crucial to keeping you from falling into high interest consumer debt. Most people who are living paycheck to paycheck use a credit cards, personal loans, and payday loans, in case of an emergency. This is a big mistake. In lieu of using short-term debt for an emergency, build up an emergency fund so you can pay cash for an emergency if you need to.
My second recommendation is that you eliminate any other consumer debt before using the Speedpay Strategy. After you’ve eliminated your consumer debt then you can start making additional payments to the principle on your mortgage. I recommend doing this because the rate on other credit items such as: credit cards, car payments, student loans, etc. typically have a higher interest rate than home mortgages.
My third recommendation is that you make sure to contribute to your retirement plan prior to making additional payments to your home loan principal. If you can contribute to your retirement plan and afterwards you still have room in your budget then great, do the Speedpay Strategy. If you are not contributing to your retirement plan, then you need to do this before starting the Speedpay Strategy.
Lastly, if you expect to live in your home for less than two years I suggest putting the Speedpay Strategy on hold while you put away money for the down payment, closing costs and moving costs on your next home.