Here’s the question. I know that if I have a 30 year mortgage, paying bi-monthly (or every 2 weeks, which works out to 26 payments a year) will pay down my loan more quickly than if I just pay once a month.

Let’s use some numbers to make this easier to visualize. (this is a hypothetical to make things easier, apologies if some think this is too easy)

Let’s say my mortgage is $1200/year. This equates to $100/month (or 12 equal payments of $100 each). If I choose the bi-weekly option, I pay $50/14 days, (or 26 equal payments of $50, which would equal $1300/year.

So, when I’m paying $1300 instead of $1200/year, the principle is getting paid down more quickly over time since I’m hitting the balance every 14 days instead of every 30-31 days. Net Present Value and all that. I believe this significantly reduces the number of years of a loan, from 30 to 24 -25 years based on the bi-weekly payments.

However, what if instead of paying bi-weekly, I divide the extra monthly payment over the course of the year, so each month I would pay $100/month + $100/12, or $108.33/month. At the end of the year, my output toward my mortgage would be the same ($1300). However, would the mortgages be paid off at the same time? Or would paying bi-weekly still make sense since I’m hitting the principle more quickly each month (with less money, of course, but still 15 days earlier than the monthly payment.

My January payments look like this: $50 paid on the 14th, $50 paid on the 28th or $108.33 on Jan 31st.

I’ve talked to a few people about this. Some say paying it bi-weekly is the better way to go, and will reduce your principle faster. Others say it is a wash and I will be paying the same length of time over the life of the loan. Which is the correct answer? If they are both the same, then why do banks advertise the option of paying bi-weekly in the first place? Why not just point out the additional 1/12th payment/month and do away with the bi-weekly option?

SFP

(boy, that sounds convoluted. It’s really not. Sorry for the description. Hopefully, if you have ever had a mortgage, it will make sense.)