4 Savvy Ways to Save Money on Interest
For many Americans â€” whether it’s facing a monthly mortgage payment, credit card bill or student loan statement â€” paying interest is a fact of life, and can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of the loans. In fact, the average yearly interest paid on credit cards weighs in at $855, student loans a slightly lower $641 and mortgages a whopping $5,646.
Earn bigâ€‘time cash back that never expires.
What if you could do just a few things to save money on interest? The good news is: You can, if you follow a few key strategies.
1. Don’t conform to standard pay periods.
Just because you’re billed on a monthly cycle doesn’t mean you can’t pay down your debt â€” thereby lowering your owed interest â€” at other times in your billing cycle.
Take your credit card bill, for example. By paying earlier in the cycle, you could lower the balance your lender uses to calculate your interest owed. The longer you have a lower balance, the more money you could save on interest. It’s important to note that this method works with card issuers that use the average daily balance method.
2. Another tactic is paying twice in the same cycle.
If you have a $2,000 mortgage payment due at the end of each month, and you pay $1,000 twice in the same cycle, your bank will have received the payment in full, and you could benefit by shaving the amount of interest owed, much as you do by paying your credit card bill earlier in the cycle.
It works this way: If you owe a mortgage and pay twice in the same cycle, you’ll end up making one extra monthly payment, since the calendar year has two months with five weeks in it. By making 26 biweekly payments, instead of 12 monthly payments, you’ll end up making an additional monthly payment each year and save money on interest.
3. Pay more than the minimum due.
Chances are you’ve budgeted your monthly income for everything from groceries and gas to movie tickets and home maintenance, leaving just enough to cover your monthly student loan payment.
While keeping a budget is a sound strategy, an even smarter move would be to increase your student loan payments by an amount you can live with, which will reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan, and put you on a faster path toward applying that money to other goals like a new home, retirement accounts or a high-yield savings account where your money will grow. Every few dollars added to your “minimum scheduled payment” can save money on interest in the long run.
4. Round up your payments.
Whether you’re paying a credit card bill, making a mortgage payment or looking to lower your student loan debt, rounding up your payments can be a smart tactic. It not only makes calculations easier, but also helps you save money on interest over time without feeling much financial pain.
To make an impact, however, it makes the most sense to round up to the nearest ten or hundred dollars, as proposed by The Simple Dollar. For example, if you have a 30-year, $150,000 mortgage, at a 5% interest rate, you’re looking at a $805.23 monthly outlay. But if you round that sum up to $810, you’ll cut four months from the life of your loan and save $2,220.67. Round up to the nearest hundred and pay $900 a month, and you’ll shave six years and four months from the life of your loan and save $34,605.19.
Consider these four options for paying down your debts sooner â€” since being able to save money on interest could help you funnel your money toward other wants and needs.
Earn bigâ€‘time cash back that never expires with Discover itÂ®.